What I Read in September

Audiobook reads: 

Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter

Two Summers by Aimee Friedman

Kind is the New Classy by Candace Cameron Bure

The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Physical Reads: 

The Crimson Skew (The Mapmaker’s Trilogy #3) by S.E. Grove

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

Little Women (reread – finished October 2) by Louisa May Alcott

I don’t know what it was about this month, but pretty much every book I read this month, even including my Little Women reread, I started out feeling invested in but was kind of over by the end. Two Summers and One of Us is Lying did hold my interest throughout more than the others, but they did have some story things that bothered me that left me only mildly satisfied in the end. I’m wondering if I just took too long to read everything as opposed to there being actual pacing problems with all these books.

I’m hoping October will pick back up for me… I’m almost finished with a non-fiction book I just started the other day.

What did you read in September? 

My Top 10 Episodes of Star Trek

The time has come for me to unveil my top 10 favorite of all Star Trek! Well, all minus the animated series and Discovery. While I do have some fan favorites on my list, I know this isn’t a typical top 10 of Star Trek, and you see my deep personal bias towards DS9. But this is about my personal favorites and I believe all these episodes are truly great, so I stand by my choices.

I quickly came up with a top 12 so it felt proper to share my two honorable mentions that I sadly had to cut from the final top 10 list.

Honorable Mentions: Yesterday’s Enterprise (TNG) and Similitude (ENT)

Both of these episodes are fabulous and easily belong among the best of Star Trek. Yesterday’s Enterprise is a fantastic alternate timeline story, and Similitude explores ethics in a way that makes you squirm a little, but also makes you really think. Now, on to my top 10!

10. Bride of Chaotica! (Voyager)

This episode is a pure fun homage to classic science fiction, perfectly saluting the campy, black-and-white melodrama that paved the way for Star Trek.

9. Stratagem (Enterprise)

There’s just something about this episode for me. It almost has shades of DS9’s Pale Moonlight, but explores the question of what we would do to save our people from war in a different way. This episode has even affected my own writing.

8. Best of Both Worlds (The Next Generation)

The first time I saw Best of Both Worlds Part One I was completely stunned. They went there! They turned Picard into a freaking Borg! How could things ever go back and it still be a satisfying story? Well, all I can say is they delivered. This two-parter is still quite epic in my mind.

7. Chain of Command (The Next Generation)

I’ve said before that this is a very dark horse choice for me as my favorite of all TNG, but the psychology of this episode has truly impacted me. I think exploring the psyche of a person is one of the, if not the, most powerful tool of storytelling, and these two episodes certainly utilize it.

6. Far Beyond the Stars (Deep Space Nine)

This episode is so freaking important that I think every human being should probably watch it. It covers racism but also talks about ideas and storytelling, all in a very poignant way. Even though this isn’t my top episode, I think if an individual was to only watch one episode of Star Trek, this should be the one.

5. The City on the Edge of Forever (The Original Series)

This is one of the most beloved and heralded episodes of Star Trek, and for good reason. I feel this episode really sets up a lot of the reoccurring themes we find in Star Trek and science fiction, like allowing things to happen as they should of the betterment of humanity.

4. It’s Only a Paper Moon (Deep Space Nine)

This episode is the culmination of a character arc that I absolutely adore, exploring the loss of dreams and what could have been. It’s a tear-jerker for sure and it holds a very special place in my heart.

3. The Trouble With Tribbles (The Original Series)

This episode is just so stinking fun. I love it. And it’s made even better by…

2. Trials and Tribble-ations (Deep Space Nine)

This episode is a perfect homage to the previous episode, and seriously, can we ever have enough Tribbles?

1. Pale Moonlight (Deep Space Nine) 

As brilliant as every episode on this list is, this one, in my opinion, is the most powerful exploration of what mankind is capable of. “So… I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all… I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again – I would.”

I’m curious what would be on your top 10 list of Star Trek episodes! So please tell me what yours are and how many we have in common. Or, if you still haven’t watched Star Trek yet, what are you waiting for? Check out this post I did several years ago about how to get started

My Top 10 Hidden Gems

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. The theme for today is top ten hidden gem books, and I’m always excited to share the word about books that I think deserve more love! This list is in no particular order.

1. Rook by Sharon Cameron 

This book almost reads like alternate history, and then you realize it’s actually set in a future in which history repeats itself. It’s a interesting retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel that I think deserves more love!

2. For Darkness Shows the Stars/Across a Star-Swept by Diane Peterfreund

I really wish there were more of these sci-fi retellings by Diana Peterfreund because I absolutely love these two! The characters, the writing, the world, all so dynamic and underrated!

3. The Fixer/The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

My only complaint about these books is that it’s a duology that seriously needs to be trilogy, because the last book leaves us hanging a little! But JLB is the Queen of plot twists and I love her for it.

4. The Naturals series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Just like the previous books by the same author, this series delivers a lot of twists and turns! I enjoyed them all, but my favorite is the third installment, All In.

5. A Dash of Dragon/A Hint of Hydra by Heidi Lang and Kat Bartkowski

Since I don’t really follow the middle grade world, these might be really popular books there and I just don’t know it, but I think more YA fans should check out these middle grade gems because they’re fantastic!

6. Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

This one was published way back in 2014 and may have been more popular then, but I think it deserves more staying power as it’s one of my favorite YA contemporaries.

7. Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson 

This was a contemporary I thoroughly enjoyed but seemed to fly way under the radar. It explores mental illness and features a nice guy (AKA my favorite kind of guy).

8. What Light by Jay Asher

I know we’re not all happy with Jay Asher at the moment for various reasons, but this is a very sweet and underrated book in my opinion. I liked Thirteen Reasons Why just fine, but this book is very different, so I wouldn’t let that book alone influence your decision to read What Light. It’s perfect for the Christmas season.

9. Nora and Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

It’s hard to explain this story… it has parallels with Peter Pan without really being a retelling, and explores the subjects of abuse and of the Japanese internment camps from WWII. I understand this book isn’t widespread since it’s from a small publisher, but I feel it’s beautifully written and packs a punch. I saw the sequel came out recently so I need to check it out!

10. The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

While this book isn’t quite as dynamic as his Mistborn books, I loved The Rithmatist so much more than Sanderson’s other YA series, Steelheart. I love the characters, and this world in which chalk drawings come to life is so interesting! Sadly, we only have book one right now and I DEMAND A SEQUEL, BRANDON.

Have you read any of my top picks for hidden gems? What other books do you feel like are hidden gems?

My Top 10 Episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise

Last year, my husband and I were talking about startrek.com’s poll results of fans’ favorite top 10 episodes of all of Star Trek. I disagreed with some of the episodes and definitely the order, so my husband suggested I create a top 10 list favorite of each series, and then at the end of our current rewatch do my own top 10 of all the series. We did skip the animated series and have not watched all of the new series Discovery yet, but this is the last top 10 series list for me and soon I’ll be sharing my personal top 10 of all Star Trek! I’m so excited! On to my top 10 of Enterprise…

10. The Expanse (Season Two)

This finale for season two is really what kicks off the rest of Enterprise.

9. Storm Front Parts One and Two (Season Four)

Just when Enterprise thinks Earth is saved from the Xinidi, something has gone terribly wrong in Earth’s past.

8. Affliction/Divergence (Season Four)

In which Enterprise explains the Klingons to us.

7. The Forgotten (Season Three)

An important character development episode for both Trip and T’Pol.

6. Demons/Terra Prime (Season Four)

The ending of this one made me want to cry but it’s still way better than the series finale…

5. E^2 (Season Three)

When the Enterprise crew meets another Enterprise crew, they work together to ensure the Xindi are defeated.

4. Borderland/Cold Station 12/Augments (Season Four)

Genetic engineering arc, need I say more?

3. Carbon Creek (Season Two)

A fun episode were T’Pol tells a story about Vulcans that Trip and Archer enjoy but doubt.

2. Similitude (Season Three)

Man this episode is hard, but it sticks with you. It definitely made me question what I would do in such a situation.

1. Stratagem (Season Three) 

This episode, along with an episode of Deep Space Nine, is actually part of the inspiration of one of my shelved books that I hope to go back to one day. It also has some shades of DS9’s Pale Moonlight with the question: how far would you go to end a war?

 

What are your top episodes of Star Trek Enterprise? I can’t wait to share my top episodes of all Star Trek soon! 

What I Read in August

Audiobook reads:

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (reread)

You Are Free by Rebekah Lyons

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

Map of Fates by Maggie Hall

Grace Unplugged by Melody Carlson

Physical reads:

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

The Thing With Feathers by McCall Hoyle

My favorite of the month: I think I’m going to go with Second Chance Summer, but Listen to Your Heart and The Thing With Feathers were two more I really enjoyed! I read a lot of YA contemporary in August and it felt like the perfect way to end the summer!

What did you read in August?