Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Decided I’m No Longer Interested In Reading

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I’m not the kind of reader who gives up easily when I stumble across something that doesn’t necessarily appeal to me the first time I try it. There are some stories that I finally learned to love after several attempts to finish them.

This technique works for me in many cases, but there are some books out there that I sadly don’t think I’m ever going to be able to get into. The first five novels on this list are classics, and the last five are from the fantasy genre.

1. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to get through Les Misérables. Based on the subject matter and rave reviews of it, I expected to love it the first time I read it. Sadly, I was never able to adapt to the long-winded narrator.

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

The idea of a family worrying about who their daughters will marry is bizarre to me even though I know it was a genuine concern for many families in the early 1800s due to the inheritance laws back then. To be fair, I almost never read historical romances in general, so I knew going into it that it probably wasn’t going to be my cup of tea.

3. Jo’s Boys by Louisa May Alcott.

I loved Little Women and Little Men, but the third instalment of this series had so little to say about the March family that I quickly lost interest in it. There are still times when I wonder what Jo, Meg, and Beth were like when they were middle aged or old women. I’m sure they never stopped trying to find ways to make ordinary life more entertaining.

4. Walden by Henry David Thoreau.

One of my high school English teachers was obsessed with this writer. She taught us a detailed unit on how Thoreau lived and why he wrote Walden. While I was amused by the fact that Thoreau apparently had food regularly brought to him by relatives while he was living alone by Walden pond, the contradiction between the deliveries of his meals and how self-reliantly he portrayed that period of his life makes it impossible for me to enjoy this book.

5. Uncle Silas by J. Sheridan Le Fanu.

I don’t like reading about children being mistreated. This is especially true when they are being harmed by their guardian and have no way to escape. If only Maud, the main character, had been an adult when she moved into her new home. The idea of attempting to outsmart a murderer appeals to me quite a bit, but I only want to read about adults taking on that task.

 6. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.

Due to how violent the first scene was, I never want to read the rest of Game of Thrones even though I liked the writing style quite a bit in general It only becomes more gory from there according to what I’ve heard, and I can only handle that kind of storytelling in small doses.

7. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan.

So many people love the Wheel of Time series in general that it took me a very long time to understand I’d never be one of them. The pacing of The Eye of the World was simply too slow for me to keep going to find out what the Wheel of Time was or why other folks enjoy it so much.

8. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin.

There are several Ursula K. LeGuin books that I really love, but A Wizard of Earthsea isn’t one of them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to change this. Normally, her storytelling grabs my attention from the very first sentence.

9. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett.

I’ve read multiple Terry Pratchett quotes that I found deeply amusing, but I’ve never been able to get into The Color of Magic or the rest of the Discworld series.  I will keep trying to find something else from him that suits my tastes, though.

10. A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony.

As cool as the covers are for A Spell for Chameleon and the rest of the Xanth series are, their writing styles simply don’t do anything for me.

What books have you given up on?

Saturday Seven: Covers I love!

I’m a cover whore. It’s true. I’ve actually bought books JUST for the cover, regardless of the blurb, and have (conversely) not bought books even when the sound interesting because I couldn’t stand the look of the cover. I know that’s not entirely fair, but … it’s who I am.  I saw all these covers on our site somewhere, and I’ve never read the books. But I would absolutely pick the book up off the shelf to read the back, and would quite likely buy it for the cover alone. It’s true.

I love everything about this. The colors, the lightning and the blasé way this demon hunter is sucking on a lollipop. It tells me so much about the story, I can’t WAIT to read the actual book!

I actually really like all the covers in this series. The blue color scheme and the ethereal quality just attract me so much. I’d absolutely pick this one up.

You know what I really like about this? All the characters have their clothes on. It’s a small thing, but I swear I’m SO tired of what my teenaged daughter calls “naked man chest” covers. Even better? That look in the hero’s eyes, that little smile on his lips … yeah, I’m half in love with him already.

I’m honestly not entirely certain what attracted me to this book. The colors aren’t ones I normally like, but they work here. It’s a quiet, mysterious cover and it makes me want to know what the book is about.

It’s that misty blue again … apparently I have a type. I do think the woman on the front is a bit generic, but the the “feel” of the cover makes me want to give it a try.

Can I just say that Young Adult covers are KILLING IT lately? I could spend all day in the YA aisle at Barnes and Noble just admiring the art. I really, REALLY love the fantasy covers they’ve been coming out with lately, and this is one series that epitomizes everything I love in a fantasy cover look.

This one? I’m intrigued by what should be a torn picture of the same girl actually being two different ones. It’s really piqued my interest and I would absolutely pick this one up.

What about you? Cover whore or don’t care? What are some covers you love?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Couples

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s topic is Love Freebie as we celebrate Valentine’s Day!   I’ve listed ten (okay eleven) great couples, in no particular order, from some of my favorite books/series.

Mercy Thompson and Adam Hauptman-Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs-Mercy and Adam are awesome, and I’ve truly enjoyed watching their relationship grow and change throughout this series.

Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen-I couldn’t have a list of favorite couples without them.

Margaret Hale and John Thornton-North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell-The road to their happy ending isn’t easy, but it is very satisfying.

Sydney Sage and Adrian Ivashkov-Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead-Sydney and Adrian have very different personalities, but they just click when they are together.

Jo March and Professor Friedrich Bhaer-Little Women by Louisa May Alcott-It has been far too long since I read this book, but I’ll always remember being touched by their romance.

Silhouettes of Couple Kissing Against Sunset

Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester-Jane Eyre By Charlotte Bronte-These two formidable personalities are an excellent match.

Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth-Persuasion by Jane Austen-Persuasion isn’t as popular as Pride and Prejudice, but Anne and Fredrick’s romance is quite touching.

Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman-Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris-Sookie certainly has an attractive assortment of men vying for her affection, but Eric was always my favorite.

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark-The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins-These two balance each other perfectly.

Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy-Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding-I found a copy of this book and the sequel at my local, used bookstore, and they are hilarious!  Bridget and Mark make a great couple.

Father Tim Kavanagh and Cynthia Coppersmith-Mitford Years series by Jan Karon-This series isn’t something I’d usually pick up, but the first nine books were given to me, and I really enjoyed them.  Tim and Cynthia are so sweet!

What do you think?  If you made a list of favorite couples, would any of these be on it?  Who is your favorite couple?

Saturday Seven: Kid’s Valentine’s Day Books

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This is the Saturday before Valentine’s Day, so without further ado – here are some special Valentine-themed books:

Join Mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie as he celebrates Valentine’s Day with all the friends he loves.

This board book with sturdy pages is perfect for preschoolers, who will enjoy the simple introduction to the fun of Valentine’s Day.

“This title follows Mouse as he makes valentines for all of his friends,” said School Library Journal. “Each valentine is made to represent what he loves most about each of his friends, such as Pig ‘because she’s a good dancer’ and Bunny ‘because she’s the best at hide-and-seek.'”

Budding artists and crafters will love this book, perfect for pairing with Valentine’s Day activities. A surprise at the end adds to the read-aloud fun!

A creative and sweet story, perfect for Valentine’s Day, that helps open the hearts of young readers. From the beloved illustrator of If You Gave a Mouse a Cookie.

One day it rains hearts, and Cornelia Augusta catches them. She realizes that the hearts are perfect for making valentines. Each heart is special in its own way, and Cornelia Augusta knows exactly who to send them to: her animal friends.

A fun way to spark creativity and thoughtfulness! The perfect book to pair with Valentine’s Day crafts.

This Valentine’s Day favorite read-aloud will prompt lots of giggles, as well as discussions on kindness and forgiveness.

Gilbert is all set to write fifteen friendly valentine cards to his classmates. But how can he write a nice poem for the boy who tweaked his nose, or the girl who made fun of his glasses? Instead, Gilbert writes two not-so-nice valentines…and signs the wrong name on both!

When his classmates read his poems, their feelings are hurt, and Gilbert’s prank quickly turns into pandemonium. But with the help of a friend and an honest apology, there’s always time for a change of heart on Valentine’s Day.

Clayton and Desmond are back in this companion to the bestselling book THE BIGGEST PUMPKIN EVER! A sheet of colorful foil stickers is bound into the book for extra valentine fun!

When Mrs. Mousely asks her class to make valentines, Clayton and Desmond decide to make one together and give it to their teacher as a surprise. But things don’t go as planned. First Clayton puts too much glitter on the card. Then Desmond puts on too many hearts. Soon the friends are arguing and they rip the card in half. “I’m going to make my own valentine!” they both say and go home in a huff.

But then Desmond and Clayton realize that by working together they can make the biggest, best valentine ever!

Kids can use the colorful foil stickers to make their own valentines!

New York Times bestselling author and artist James Dean takes us on an awesome trip with Pete the Cat as he discovers just how special Valentine’s Day can be!

At first, Pete thinks Valentine’s Day isn’t cool…until he realizes all the special cats there are in his life. Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day Is Cool comes complete with a poster, stickers, and twelve punch-out Valentine’s Day cards.

Once Pete the Cat realizes how much fun Valentine’s Day can be, he decides to make valentine cards for his family and friends. But what happens when he realizes he’s forgotten to make a card for a very important cat?

With short and simple rhyming text, the Llama Llama board books introduce Llama Llama to babies and toddlers before they’re ready for longer full-length stories. And their small size and durable pages are perfect for little hands.

In Llama Llama I Love You, little llama shows his friends and family how much he loves them with heart-shaped cards and lots of hugs. What could be sweeter than Llama Llama on Valentine’s Day?

Celebrate love with #1 New York Times Best-Selling Title!
“You are the cherry on my cake; you make the sun shine brighter; you make my heart flutter.” Using a range of images from the World of Eric Carle, and featuring the Very Hungry Caterpillar, this special gift book gives all the reasons why someone special makes the world a better and brighter place. Perfect for that someone special any day of the year!

What are some of your favorite Valentine books? Or share with us your plans for Valentine’s Day.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my TBR List the Longest

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

My tbr list is ridiculously long.  No matter how much I read, there are always more books to add to it.  I’m also a mood reader.  I pick up and read the book I’m interested in at the moment, not the book that has been on my list the longest.  Unfortunately, this means that some books have been languishing on my tbr list for quite some time.  Here are ten that have been around for a while.

The Complete Illuminated Books by William Blake-I almost feel like putting this book on my list is cheating a bit because I have read some of the poems in this book, but not enough for me to feel like I can count it as being read.  Of the poems I’ve read, I particularly like “A Poison Tree”.

The Best of James Whitcomb Riley by James Whitcomb Riley-He is my grandma’s favorite poet, which is why I picked up this book, but I have yet to read it.

The Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson-Another book of poetry I want to read.

The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction by Henry James-I really enjoy short stories, but have yet to get into this book.

Favorite Folktales from Around the World by Jane Yolen-I love folktales, but haven’t found the time to dig into this collection.

arm, desk, hand

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis-This book sounds fascinating, and I really hope to get to it soon.

The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K Le Guin-I love A Wizard of Earthsea, and I really need to read the rest of the series.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay-I watched and enjoyed the show (except for the ending).  I’d like to read the books at some point.

Darkness Unbound by Keri Arthur-I really need to start this series.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins-I need to find time to read this lengthy novel.

Have you read any of these?  If so, what did you think?  Do you have a plan for working through your tbr list or are you a mood reader like me?

Saturday Seven: Seven books we loved and are giving away to you! #Giveaway

Today we’re emptying our bookshelves! Here is a list of seven books we’ve enjoyed, reviewed and are giving away (print copies, US only shipping). To enter to win a copy of each book, just click through to the review and leave a comment.  Drawings will be held end of business on Friday, February 9, 2018. Thanks and good luck!

1. Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine — our reviewer gave this 4.5 stars and said, “Stillhouse Lake is one of the most intense, edge of my seat books I’ve read all year. It kept me engaged and wanting more with every page.”

You know you want this one for your very own!


2. The Good Widow by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

Our reviewer gave this 4.5 stars and said, “Engaging, intense, and full of surprises, The Good Widow was an excellent read.”

Sounds like another great add for your bookshelf!


3. Tips for Living by Renee Shafransky
Our reviewer gave this 4.5 stars and said, “Tips for Living is a wild, rollercoaster ride of a story. There are infinite twists and turns that I never saw coming. The author’s relaxed voice only makes it that much easier to devour the novel.”

What’s not to like about that?


4. Immortally Yours by Lynsay Sands

Our reviewer gave this 4.5 stars and said, “Immortally Yours is more about people than the paranormal. It’s about healing, challenging perceptions and admitting when you’re wrong. It’s about imperfect people falling in love in the face of the dangers of assumptions. It’s about why it’s important to take the time to really listen to the person you love, even if it hurts. And, it’s about fighting for what you believe in. There’s a lot of emotional depth to this novel that makes it more than just a fun, fluffy and entertaining read. Ms. Sands has another winner and is an easy recommend.”

Like paranormal romance? Then you definitely need to get this one!


5. The Cajun Doctor by Sandra Hill

Our reviewer gave this 4.5 stars and said, “The Cajun Doctor is a wonderful mix of love, drama, family and hope. I sniffled when Daniel’s personal story arc came full circle. This novel touches base on healing, trusting and people who bring out the best in each other. It has charm, wit and totally engaging. Pick up your own copy and see why Ms. Hill’s Cajun heroes are all that.”

You know you want this one!


6. When We Were Worthy by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

Our reviewer gave this one 4 stars and said, “When We Were Worthy is a story of redemption, of forgiveness, and human nature at work.”

Sound like something you’d enjoy? Leave a comment!



7. A Tangled Mercy by Joy Jordan-Lake

Our reviewer gave this 4.5 stars and said, A Tangled Mercy is an informative and enjoyable trip through Charleston, South Carolina. The author paints an amazing picture of both timelines and doesn’t shy away from the less appealing parts of the narrative. The racism and horrors of life are equally represented in both timelines, making it an evocative and haunting story.”

Oooh… sounds really good! You should definitely try for this one!


Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Can’t Believe I Read

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Happy Tuesday!  This week is all about books I can’t believe I read.  For my list, I decided to pick books that are a departure from what I normally read, or that I read at a strange time in my life.

The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King-I don’t typically read horror, so I’d never read any of Stephen King’s books.  However, my husband is a big fan and was determined to find a Stephen King book I would read.  While it will never be a favorite, I have to admit I did enjoy it at the time.

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom-I had to read this for a class in college.  I thought it was okay but not something I would consider reading on my own.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens-I really love classics, so it wouldn’t be strange for me to pick something like this up today.  However, I read this book when I was a freshman in high school on my own for fun.  Most of my friends considered it strange reading material.  It has been years since I picked it up, so I’m not as clear on details as I’d like to be.  However, I did enjoy it immensely, and I’d like to revisit it.

Seinlanguage by Jerry Seinfeld-I enjoyed Seinfeld if I happened to catch it on tv, but it was never a favorite show.  I have no idea why I picked up this book.  I guess I was just looking for something fun to pass the time with?

Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection by Bill Watterson-I’d never read a collection of comic strips, and decided to pick this one up.  I loved it!

blur, book, girl


Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice-I’ve read many vampire books, but when I first picked this up years ago, I’d never read anything remotely paranormal so it was quite a strange pick for me at the time.   I loved it and have been completely hooked on vampires ever since.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte-Again, I love classics, so this normally wouldn’t be a strange book for me.  However, I read this right after having my first child.  I was frazzled, new mom but I came across a copy of this in my local bookstore and decided to read it.  I loved it, but I can’t believe I picked it up at such a crazy time in my life.

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin-This is not a title I ever expected to see on my bookshelf, but I have two kids who thoroughly enjoy this story and the sequel, Dragons Love Tacos 2.  I highly recommend both.

I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll-Again, not something I ever pictured myself reading, but I can thank my kids for all the fun children’s books I get to read with them.  The sequel is great too.

Animal Farm by George Orwell-I read this in junior high.  I found it very thought provoking and definitely worth reading, but not something I would have read on my own.

Have you read any of these?  If so, what did you think?  What books would be on your list?

Saturday Seven 4: New Authors I’ve Discovered Thanks to Long and Short Reviews

One of the best things about owning Long and Short Reviews is the many many new authors we get to “meet.” I’ve found some of my favorite authors in our pages – here are just a few (actually, seven.. lol.. see what I did there?), in no particular order. Click on their names to see a post from them or a review of one of their books.

1. Charlotte Hubbard Charlotte writes wonderful Amish, inspy romance books. The characters she draws and the settings are so real– I would love to visit them and just spend some time enjoying the simple things of life.

2. Karen Harper was an early author featured on our site and I fell in love with her writing – both her romantic suspense and her historicals. She is definitely on my auto-read list!

3. Maggie Toussaint is another early author that I now follow closely (and I’ve even had the opportunity to meet her in person… not only is she a good writer, she’s just a genuinely nice person!)

4. Somehow I had missed hearing about Meg Cabot until we reviewed this book. She’s now another one of my auto-reads, especially when I’m in the mood for something with a bit of humor.

5. Pauline Baird Jone also first came to my attention on Long and Short Reviews. One of my all time favorite people.

6. I first “met” Jo Webnar in these pages and not only did I enjoy her books, I enjoyed becoming familiar with their way of life. They’ve given up boat living now, but I know it was fun while it lasted.

7. Last, but certainly not least, is Sarita Leone. She’s another author I keep up with (and am anxiously waiting the sequel to her latest book.. hint, hint).

What about you? Have you “met” any new authors here? Let us know!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Liked But Can’t Remember Anything About

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

My reading habits involve me diving into a wide variety of genres: young adult, non-fiction, science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, horror, and even the occasional romance novel.

Most of the time, I can remember the basic plot of a book long after I’ve finished it even if I forget some of the details in it. There are times when I forget everything about a story other than the fact that I’ve read it, though, and that is why I won’t be commenting about anything on the list below like I normally do on Top Ten Tuesday posts.

The only facts I can tell you about any of them is that I know I read and enjoyed them at one point!

1. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez.

2. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.

3. The Call of the Wild by Jack London.

4. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov.

5. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison.

6. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

7. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.

8. Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult.

9. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson.

10. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.

Have you read any of these titles? What novels do you know you’ve read but can’t remember anything about?

Saturday Seven 3: Books we’ve reviewed that make me think of summer

I live in the northeast and it’s been cold and snowy for a few months now. I’m SO ready for summer… so I took a look at the covers of books we’ve reviewed that transport me away someone warmer and sunny.  Click the cover to read our reviews.

1. Playing by the Greek’s Rules by Sarah Morgan

Seriously … does it get any more “summer” than that? Beach, check. Sunshine, check. Hot guy in a swimsuit, check. Even better, it sounds like the story is solid based on the FIVE STAR review our reviewer gave it. I think I’ll have to check this one out!

2. Turning the Tides by Nell Castle

Nothing says “summer” like a palm tree. Yeah, I know it’s got that ominous set of eyes at the top, but … palm trees!

3. Laked by J L Wilson

LAKE! Dock! That just screams summer. And I’m incredibly intrigued by Excalibur hanging out there in the middle of the water. And the character names! Summer *and* King Arthur… putting this one on my TBR right now.

4. Mugs and Monasteries by Cait O’Sullivan

Clearly water is a theme for me… maybe this a little less summery than the others, but it still has that theme.

5. His Little Lanie by Keri Ford

Ocean waves, bikini, summer lovin’ … yeah, baby.

6. Hearts at Seaside by Addison Cole

Hey, water again! Ocean, bare feet, sunshine…. I want to be there.

7. Love on Longboat Key by Meg West

Beach, flip-flops, sunshine … hits all the high points of summer.

What beach read do you recommend? Help me get out of this cold, snowy winter, if only on a fictional escape.