Saturday Seven: Gardening

To all the folks joining us for Saturday Seven, please don’t forget to leave your link in the linky list at the end of this post.

For the Judy half of us, spring has definitely sprung. I’ve been working in the yard, trying to fix all the winter issues, and embarking on a new project – building a butterfly/hummingbird/bee garden. I’m so excited.

I’m not one to sit down and read a non-fiction book for the fun of it. However, I have several books that I like to dip into and consult from time to time– especially this time of year. In no particular order, here are some of the gardening books on my bookshelf:

This is a Reader’s Digest book and has some wonderful pictures. My husband and I love a lot of color around our house, and this book has given us some great ideas. The sections are divided into color zones, which I really appreciate…especially when I’m looking for a certain color to add more curb appeal to our front yard.

 

Some wonderful themes for gardens, if you are looking for ideas. I enjoy just thumbing through this book to get ideas, even if some of them are a little more ambitious that we want to bite off.

 

This book has been an invaluable help. My husband named our house “Rose Cottage” and, at last count, we have 30+ rose plants. Pruning is always nerve-racking for me…some roses grow on new growth and some on old growth…what to do, what to do? This book tells you!

 

This book isn’t exactly about gardening, but we love birds and this book has some really neat things you can put in your yard and garden to help encourage birds to hang out with you.

 

My mama gave this book to me one year for Christmas. Some of the ideas are pretty ingenious, others… I’m not so sure about. But, I’m all for going all natural in my yard (you know, because of birds, bees, butterflies, hummingbirds–not to mention I have a cat who likes to go out).

 

Not only do I like doing all natural outside, I think we can use a lot of nature’s remedies as well for us instead of picking up a pill bottle. And I love container gardening, so this is a book I use a lot.

 

I like this one especially because it talks directly to my area. We have a water garden and I’ve gotten a lot of ideas from this book on how to make it prettier.

 

Saturday Seven: Book of the Month Winners

To all the folks joining us for Saturday Seven, please don’t forget to leave your link in the linky list at the end of this post.

Every month, we hold a poll filled with our top rated reviews to see which is selected as our “Book of the Month”. Here are a few past winners…maybe you can find something to add to your TBR!

Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by Kerrelyn Sparks

Our reviewer said, in part:

Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon has a great title but the book is even better. … It’s a great experience and not to be missed. Ms. Sparks is amazing!

Read the entire review here.

*******

 

 

The Pleasures of Passion by Sabrina Jeffries

Our reviewer said, in part:

This is another fine example of the cleverness that is Sabrina Jeffries. Perfect read for any time of the year.

Read the entire review here.

*******

 

 

Heart and Dagger by Holland Rae

Our reviewer said, in part:

Heart and Dagger was well written and its conclusion left me with a happy book glow. I especially loved the epilogue. It is my pleasure to recommend this book.

Read the entire review here.

*******

 

 

Written Off by Sheila Lowe

Our reviewer said, in part:

The suspense is good, the stage is set for the reveal and the killer was not on my list of suspects. … This is a good read that’s hard to put down.

Read the entire review here.

*******

 

 

White Water Passion by Dawn Luedecke

Our reviewer said, in part:

I am very happy that I chose to read this book. This novel goes on my list of recommended reads. It was my first Dawn Luedecke novel and I don’t think it will be my last.

Read the entire review here.

*******

 

 

Secrets from Myself by Christine Hart

Our reviewer said, in part:

The author has done a wonderful job in tying these two facets of history together. Kudos, Ms. Hart!

Read the entire review here.

*******

 

 

What Time Is It There? by Christine Potter

Our reviewer said, in part:

I found this story fascinating. What at first seems to be a straightforward tale of time travel turns out to be far more sinister.

Read the entire review here.

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved But Will Never Reread

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s topic made me smile. Normally, I will happy reread books that I love over and over again until I can quote passages from memory from them in ordinary conversations for the sheer fun of it.

There are exceptions to this rule, though. As you’re about to see, many of them have gone on my do-not-reread list for the exact same reason. I might not mind certain things the first time I read something, but they can deter me from rereading that particular tale.

1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien.

 

It took me ages to figure out whether I should list this trilogy as individual books or as a group. Since they all told different parts of the same epic adventure and their plots were very tightly woven together, I decided to include all three of them as the first item on this week’s list.

While I loved seeing what happened to Frodo and his companions while they were trying to bring The One Ring to Mount Doom to destroy it and save the world, the pacing of this series was so slow and the books themselves were so long that I don’t see myself ever reading them again.

2. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins.

I loved the fact that the author stayed true to the violent, unjust, and unpredictable world she created earlier in this series even though it meant shattering the audience’s expectations of what would happen next. There were certain deaths and other events in Mockingjay that honestly made me sob. I’m glad I know how it ended, but I never want to relive those scenes again.

3. Anne’s House of Dreams (Anne of Green Gables #5) by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

I was an adult before I realized that Anne Shirley’s adventures didn’t end after Anne of the Island, so I was excited to see what this character’s life was like after she finally married her childhood sweetheart. Without giving away spoilers, something tragic happened early on in their marriage that makes me never want to revisit this portion of Anne’s life again. It was simply too sad.

4. Beloved by Toni Morrison.

As a huge fan of Ms. Morrison’s work in general, it’s hard to admit that I don’t want to reread something she wrote. The descriptions of how slavery traumatized this entire family for multiple generations were so graphic, though, that I can’t handle seeing them suffer that much again.

5. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. 

The pacing of Great Expectations was so slow that I don’t want to revisit it even though I loved Pip as a character.

6. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

I knew quite a bit about the Great Depression when I first picked this book up, but there’s a huge difference between memorizing dry facts and seeing a three-dimensional family struggle to survive when the dust bowl hit their farm and they lost everything. The character development was amazing. It was emotionally difficult to see the Joads face malnutrition, discrimination, and severe poverty after I’d grown to truly love them. I can’t bear to see them go through all of that pain again.

7. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein.

As intrigued as I was by the storyline in general, it took a long time to figure out what Martian society was like. I’d rather not revisit the slow process of figuring out why Valentine’s worldview was so different from humans who had been raised by other humans.

8. The Martian by Andy Weir.

I loved seeing Mark, the main character of this book, solve all kinds of impossible problems on Mars after a terrible accident there made his fellow astronauts believe he was dead and accidentally leave him behind when they returned to Earth. He could have died many times over before they even realized he was still alive, and that made this a thrilling read. With that being said, I worried about Mark’s health and safety so much the first time I read about his adventures that I don’t really want to repeat that experience.

9. My Ántonia by Willa Cather.

I adored the descriptions of what life was like for brand new immigrants in Nebraska in the late nineteenth century. Surviving their first winter on the prairie was a difficult task for even the most fortunate and well-prepared families. The threat of starvation or freezing to death was always present. That made it impossible for me to stop reading even once they’d slightly improved their diets and the insulation in their homes. I had to know what happened to the characters, but once I did I lost the urge to return to their darkest and most uncertain days.

10. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King.

Like many of the other books on this list, this one was too intense for me to reread it. I was so frightened for Trisha once she became lost in the woods, especially once she realized that there was something awful wandering around out there. Knowing her fate was a relief. With that being said, I don’t ever want to go through that emotional rollercoaster again.

 

 

Saturday Seven: NY Times Best Sellers

To all the folks joining us for Saturday Seven, please don’t forget to leave your link in the linky list at the end of this post.

I was looking at the New York Times best-seller list for this week and discovered several familiar names.

1.
I’ve heard a lot about C.J. Box, but I’ve not yet read any of his books. They look interesting, though. This is a new Joe Pickett novel– have you read this series? Let me know what you think.

2.
James Patterson is back with Marshall Karp and the fifth book in the NYPD Red series, Red Alert. Patterson is so prolific– I’ve not yet read this series. However, I love his Alex Cross and Michael Bennett series.

3. I’m not sure how I have missed Ernest Cline‘s Ready Player One, especially since it’s been out since 2012! I’m sure it’s on the list now because of the movie (I haven’t seen that either). I need to check this one out… it marks all the points I like.

4. It’s been a while since I’ve read a John Grisham book.. I don’t know why because I always enjoy them when I do. Putting this one on my TBR list! A bookstore owner and a novelist.. what’s not to like?

5. Kristin Hanna writes beautiful books with beautiful covers. Yet another one for my TBR list.

6. Danielle Steel is yet another author I used to read, but for whatever reason, haven’t in a while (too many other books to read, I suppose). So many books, so little time!

7. This is one book I HAVE read… Jacqueline Winspear and her Maisie Dobbs series is one of the authors that is on my “auto add” list at the library. If you love WW2 era novels and mysteries, give this series a try. You can find the first book in the series here.

Do you check out the best sellers’ list? Have you had any experiences with the books above? Inquiring minds want to know.

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters We Liked That Were In Books We Disliked

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s topic sure was a tricky one. Normally I will stop reading a book if I dislike too many things about it, so it took a while to come up with ten examples of characters who fit this theme.

I’d like to thank Marianne and Poinsettia, two of the other bloggers here at Long and Short Reviews, for telling me about the first three books on this list. Their thoughts on them are in quotes below. They both helped to kickstart the brainstorming I needed to do in order to come up with other examples, and I sure do appreciate that.

1. Vampire Academy by Michelle Read.

“When I read the Vampire Academy series, I thought it was okay, but not a favorite.  However, I really liked the character Adrian Ivashkov.  He ended up being a main character in the Bloodlines series, which is a spin off.” – Poinsettia

2. and 3. John Steinbeck’s work in general, and The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks.

“My problem is I don’t read books I don’t like — if I’m not engrossed in a chapter or two, I put it down.  I suppose I could go back to school days and the books I had to read (John Steinbeck, for example … I’m from California and my teachers revered him, so I read nearly everything he wrote and hated most of it, despite the characters and stories being interesting… but I don’t like depressing books, and his were). Or books with unexpectedly sad endings ( for example,”The Guardian” by Nicholas Sparks)” – Marianne

4. The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

One of the things I disliked the most about this story was how hopeless it was. Things only got worse for the unnamed main character and his son as the plot progressed because of how impossible it was for them to find food or safety.

With that being said, I still loved the tight, loving bond the main character had with his kid. He never stopped trying to protect his child no matter how dire their circumstances became, and that made me like him quite a bit.

 

 

5. Thinner by Stephen King/Richard Bachman.

There were so many problems with pacing and plot holes that I really struggled to get into this book. It seemed like the sort of conflict that easily could have been solved at the end of the first chapter if Billy had been humble enough to apologize for accidentally killing the old woman.

What surprised me the most about Billy later on, though, was how much I grew to like him once he realized that the cause of his alarming weight loss was a curse that had been placed on him by the son of the woman he killed. I have a soft spot in my heart for any character who learns from his or her mistakes and eventually tries to fix them.

6. Push: A Novel by Sapphire.

As I mentioned above, I really don’t like reading about child abuse. Generally, I’ll stop reading stories that are about this topic if they go into any detail about it at all.

I didn’t know that was a major theme of this tale when I first picked it up. Finding out what happened to Precious next was the only thing that kept me going once I realized just how awful her home life was.

She was a such a gentle soul that I had to find out if she’d find a way to rise above her painful start in life.

7. Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult.

The premise of this tale caught my attention immediately. There is so much room for debate about what should happen to frozen embryos after the couple who created them get divorced. Unfortunately, this was another case of major plot holes messing up something I thought I was going to really enjoy reading.

Zoe, the main character, was a talented, likeable woman no matter what was going on in the plot. I never stopped rooting for her and her new partner to find their happy ending.

8. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling.

I spent most of my childhood living in various small towns, but I just couldn’t get into a book about small town politics because of how much time it took the characters to start feuding. Slowly burning plots are not my cup of tea in general.

With that being said, Collin was a fascinating man. His struggled with obsessive-compulsive disorder were explained so clearly that I couldn’t help but to sympathize with him. I also appreciated the fact that he and all of his neighbors were written as well-rounded human beings. That is, they all had realistic strengths and weaknesses. There were no good guys or bad guys in this community, just a collection of unique people who all had wildly different personalities, interests, and goals in life.

9. Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton.

If there’s one thing this story taught me, it’s that the past can be truly disgusting at times. I was so grossed out by the descriptions of the characters who didn’t bathe or otherwise practice good hygiene that I wanted to stop reading almost as soon as I began.

Ibn Fadlan was such an intelligent and educated protagonist that I stuck around solely to find out what he’d have to say next about the Vikings.

10. Light in August by William Faulkner.

Does anyone else feel a little guilty for not enjoying the writing styles of highly praised authors? Mr. Faulkner is one of those authors for me. The ideas he wrote about were thought-provoking, but I couldn’t handle the stream-of-consciousness style of Light in August. Figuring out what was going on with the plot there was incredibly difficult for me.

I did like the way he described Joe, a biracial man who was passing for white, and Lena, a young, pregnant woman who was searching for the father of her child, though. Both of these characters were living in a time and place that wasn’t at all kind to people in their circumstances, so it was interesting to see how they reacted to the stigma against them.

 

Saturday Seven: Books with an Easter or Spring theme

To all the folks joining us for Saturday Seven, please don’t forget to leave your link in the linky list at the end of this post.

Since Easter is tomorrow, I felt the need to highlight a few books I found on search…no I’ve not read any of them, but some really sound interesting!

A Family for Easter by Lee Tobin McClain

Too different to fall in love? In Rescue River, anything can happen…

When wealthy single mom Fiona Farmingham rents her carriage house to widowed Eduardo Delgado, it’s purely in friendship. Insecure over her late husband’s betrayal, Fiona hides her attraction to the humble landscaper. Between them they have six children, two dogs—and a world of differences. But with half a dozen little matchmakers involved, can they find the courage to reach for happiness once more?

A Paranormal Easter: 14 Paranormal & Fantasy Romance Novellas by Tiffany Carby,‎ Kathia Iblis,‎Lorah Jaiyn,‎Brandy McIntosh,‎ T. Elizabeth Guthrie,‎ J.C. Madison,‎ Alison M. Diem,‎ Natalie-Nicole Bates,‎ Skyler McKinzie,‎ Amanda Ruehle, Rena Marin, C. Brady, Judy Swinson, T. A. Moorman

Eggs aren’t the only things being hunted…

FOURTEEN stand-alone paranormal and fantasy romances set around Easter from 14 bestselling and debut authors. This action-packed, steamy collection is filled with vampires, fae, fairies, rabbit shifters (hey, it’s Easter, right?), gargoyles, witches, dragons, and so much more.

It’s a must have for all paranormal readers.

Side note: as of March 30, 2018, this anthology is only $0.99

Esther, An Easter Bride by Hildie McQueen

Unrealistic expectations can lead two people down a trail to despair.

After the untimely death of her husband, Esther Wilmington must choose between pauper’s life as a poor widow in Philadelphia or a marriage of convenience to her late husband’s son. However, she is presented with a third option she couldn’t have imagined: moving west as a mail order bride.

Elias Jones likes the idea of a wife but quickly discovers how complicated it is to share his home, his bed, and his life with someone. Perhaps he was hasty in marrying. But he soon realizes he cannot imagine a life without his new bride.

The Cowboy’s Easter Family Wish by Lois Richer

After a heartbreaking tragedy, youth pastor Jesse Parker stopped believing he had anything to offer kids. Working with the boys at Wranglers Ranch, he’s slowly beginning to trust himself. And when he meets widow Maddie McGregor and her young autistic son, his connection with little Noah and his pretty mom is instant. Maddie’s heart is as guarded as his own, but as he spends time with the McGregors—helping Maddie in his gran’s quilt shop, caring for rescued puppies, and bringing mother and son closer together—he rediscovers his purpose…including an Easter holiday surprise of renewed faith and love.

A Dragonlings’ Easter: Dragonlings of Valdier Book 1.1 (Volume 1) by S. E. Smith

New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling author of Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance brings another action, adventure, and suspense-filled story to transport readers out of this world.

When Abby creates a set of Easter Eggs for each Dragonling she has no idea she is about to start a new tradition on Valdier. What happens when the men and the dragonlings take the hunt for the colorful eggs to heart? Laughter and a whole lot of crispy eggs!

 

A Blossoming Spring Romance by ID Johnson

Love is in bloom in the small town of Charles Town, West Virginia.

Sophie Chambers is happy for all of her friends who have recently found love, but she is too busy working as a dental hygienist for cranky old Dr. Mitchells, and helping with the children’s Easter program at church, to go looking for the man of her dreams. When Dr. Mitchells announces his retirement, Sophie just prays that his replacement will be someone nice. She gets much more than she bargains for when handsome Dr. Zach Kemper takes over the practice. Will their relationship bloom into something more, or will Sophie have to settle for being the doctor’s employee and friend?

Dr. Zach Kemper relocates to Charles Town to escape the memories of his wife who lost her life in a tragic accident a few years ago. He’s not looking for love, but Sophie certainly catches his eye. However, she works for him, and he isn’t sure dating an employee is the best idea. Will the new doctor find a spring romance?

This is the sixth novel in the Heartwarming Holidays Sweet Romance series. Each novel follows the relationship of a different couple, so it isn’t necessary to read all of the books in order, though each book mentions previous couples. This is a contemporary romance with Christian themes, sure to be inspiring any time of year.

And … just for fun…

Easter Eggstravaganza Mad Libs

Easter Eggstravaganza Mad Libs features 21 original stories all about celebrating Easter! This book makes the perfect addition to any Easter basket.

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Take Place in Other Countries

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

It’s Tuesday again!  This week’s list features books set in another country.  I was tempted to include books that take place in fictional places (Narnia, Middle Earth), but decided against it.  After reviewing my list, I realized it has been a very long time since I read some of these!  I’ll need to make time to revisit them.

The Collected Stories by Alexander Pushkin-Russia-I really enjoy short story collections, and I read this collection a very long time ago.  I don’t remember as much about it as I would like, but I do remember really enjoying it.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden-Japan-I read this right before the movie came out.  I know it has been met with mixed reviews, but I found it entertaining.

The Diary of Young Girl by Anne Frank-The Netherlands-A classic!

Dubliners by James Joyce-Ireland-Another great collection of short stories

Favorite Folktales from Around the World by Jane Yolen-This collection of stories from various places around the world has been sitting on my shelf unread for too long!  I need to find time to read it.

atlas, close-up, dark

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell-England-Another wonderful classic.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery-Canada-A childhood favorite.

Riley Jenson Guardian Series by Keri Arthur-Australia-I really enjoyed this paranormal series.

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck-China-I read this a long time ago in school.  While my classmates found it boring, I really liked it.

How to Be Victorian: A Dawn to Dusk Guide to Victorian Life by Ruth Goodman-England-I sort of feel like it is cheating to put two books set in England on my list, but this one is so good I had to include it.  It is a fascinating look at life in Victorian England.

Saturday Seven: Books Based Around King Arthur

To all the folks joining us for Saturday Seven, please don’t forget to leave your link in the linky list at the end of this post.

I was going to do fantasy books I loved in keeping with last week’s theme of mystery books, but while I was looking around at all the fantasies there were, several books/series that I have enjoyed in the past and had forgotten about came up in the search. So, today, here are seven books or series based on the Arthurian legend.

1. The Once and Future King by T.H. White – a classic and considered one of the best reimagining of the Arthurian legend. Five books that anybody interested in King Arthur should take a look at.

2. Mary Stewart’s Merlin Quartet follows the adventures of a Welsh boy named Myrddin Emrys, who grows up to be Merlin.

3. The Avalon Series by Marion Zimmer Bradley tells the Arthurian tale, but instead of focusing on Arthur and the knights, the books follow the women involved in the events.

4. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain. I loved this book–the humor, the way Hank uses his knowledge of the past to make people believe he’s a wizard. Funny and clever, with an biting social satire thrown in for full measure.

5. The Pendragon Cycle by Stephen R. Lawhead sets the Arthurian legend in a historical setting and is excellent!

6. The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper takes the Arthurian stories as well as Celtic and Norse mythology to create a wonderful series!

7. Gerald Morris’s The Squire’s Tales and the Knight’s Tales are a good introduction to the Arthurian legends for pre-teens.

What do you think of King Arthur and his tales? Do you have any other suggestions?

Saturday Seven: Mystery Series

To all the folks joining us for Saturday Seven, please don’t forget to leave your link in the linky list at the end of this post.

Today, I’m sharing my seven favorite mystery series. Some are older, some are still going on, but all entertain me.

1. The Cat Who series by Lilian Jackson Braun

My aunt sent me books from the series back in the 1990s and I fell in love. It was the first cozy mystery I’d ever read, and I scooped them all. Yeah, it took me a while to read them, but I never got bored. Sadly, she passed away years ago, and the last book released in 2007.

2. The Alphabet Mysteries by Sue Grafton

I was devastated to hear that she’d passed away before completing “Z”…

3. Chief Inspector Gamache novels by Louise Penny

Set in Canada. Even though they are mysteries a lot of the appeal is the characters involved and getting to know them and see them grow throughout the series.

4. Cormoran Strike Series by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling)

What’s not to like? A damaged hero and how he and his secretary/sidekick develop a relationship while solving crimes. Love!

5. Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich

She’s just funny… but here’s an interesting point.. I don’t like reading the books… but I LOVE the audio books.

6. Grant County series by Karin Slaughter

I devoured these books … right up until she ended one with something so shocking and unexpected and maddening that I stopped. It was years ago, and I haven’t read one since. She actually had to write a very very long letter to her fans explaining why she made that decision and asking us to hang on and she’d show us why it mattered. But I’m a grudge holder. If you aren’t, I’m betting you’ll love them.

7. Aurora Teagarden Mystery Series by Charlaine Harris

Just really good cozies with awesome characters and fun plots. She’s an outstanding author.

What are some mystery series you can recommend? I’m always in the market!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Surprised Me

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

It’s Tuesday again!  This week is all about surprises.  For my list, I’ve included books, in no particular order, that surprised me in a variety of ways.  Some of the books listed I expected to like, but didn’t enjoy as much as I thought I would, and some I didn’t think I would like but ended up loving.  I’ve also included a few books that had a surprisingly powerful impact on me, or an unexpected ending.

Signs of the Zodiac Series by Vicki Pettersson-I really enjoy books that fall into the paranormal category, but this series left me with surprisingly conflicted emotions.  I think the premise of the series is unique, and the take on good and evil is complex.  However, I had a love/hate relationship with the main character, and I had issues with how some traumatic situations were handled.  Complicated feelings aside, I still feel the series was worth reading.

Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead-I really expected to like this series.  I enjoy books about vampires, and friend recommended it to me.  However, I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would.  I was intrigued by the world Ms. Mead created, but Rose isn’t my favorite character, and I was never a fan of her romance with Dmitri.  I’m glad I read the series, but it will never be a favorite.  I enjoyed the spin off series, Bloodlines, much more.

The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins-I’m not a fan of dystopian, and I was very hesitant to read this series, especially because there was a lot of hype surrounding it.  A very good friend convinced me to read it, and I’m glad they did.  I loved it.  Once I started reading the series, I couldn’t put it down!

Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England by Judith Flanders-I enjoy history, but I’ve never read much non-fiction.  I decided to read this after a friend recommended it to me.  I thoroughly enjoyed it!  It isn’t a book I raced through, but I enjoyed picking it up and reading a chapter or two at a time.  I enjoyed it so much I’ve read a couple of similar books since and have several more in my tbr.

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice-I know I’ve included this book in several of my lists, but it is belongs on this one too.  When I first experienced this book, I’d never read any books with vampires.  However, I was pulled into this tale and have enjoyed vampire novels ever since.

blur, book stack, books

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling-This is another series I put off reading for a very long time.  I tend to drag my feet when it comes to reading books with a lot of hype surrounding them, and I don’t like feeling pressured into reading a book.  I’m glad I read it because the entire series is wonderful.

The Lady or the Tiger by Frank R. Stockton-I will always remember the way I felt when I first read this story.  I was so surprised and intrigued by how Mr. Stockton left the ending!

The Crucible by Arthur Miller-I read this years ago in school and have read it a couple times since then, but I’ll always remember being surprised by how strong my reaction to the story was.  Such a powerful story!

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner-It has been a very long time since I read this story, but it is certainly memorable.  It is such a tragic and creepy tale, and of course the ending is quite shocking.

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson-Another short story with a surprising ending!

What do you think?  Were any of these books/series surprising to you?  Did you enjoy them?