Re-reading for a Reason – Books That Make You Feel

Top 5 Wednesday Banner - Books that Make You FeelI’m sure I’m not nearly the only reader who has books they associate with specific emotions. For me, the chances of re-reading a book are much higher if they are ones that I do this with. I’m also emotionally locked down to the point that I sometimes need triggers to help me express a particular emotion. So these are the books that I re-read for a reason, the ‘books that make you feel’ for me.

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly book meme, done by most book bloggers and booktubers. It’s started out by Lainey, but is now hosted by Sam at Thoughts On Tomes. Here’s the Goodreads group if you want to join in!

Re-reading for a Reason – Books That Make You Feel

If I need a reason to laugh: The Martian by Andy Weir

Specifically, this book makes me laugh like a loon. Yes, he goes through hades, but it’s his reactions and wit are so perfect that I can’t help but think of laughter when I think of The Martian.

If I need a reason to cry: The Last Day of Captain Lincoln by Exo BooksBooks that make you feel

Okay, so it’s not outright sobbing, but this book totally gets me misty-eyed and ready to bawl. Not bad, considering the main character of The Last Day of Captain Lincoln is an old man. Exo Books did a fantastic job in making the reader feel all sorts of feely-things when it comes to reading about the last day of a man who is celebrating his life even as he’s saying goodbye.

If I need a reason to feel scared: Sorrow’s Point by Danielle DeVor

Possession horror is an instant dose of “Okay, I’m sleeping with the lights on” for me. So Danielle DeVor’s Sorrow’s Point is one I turn to when I need to feel that adrenaline rush.

If I need comfort: Knight of a Trillion Stars by Dara Joy

This book just instantly puts me in a warm, safe, happy place. Just thinking about it brings a smile to my eyes. It’s funny, has great characters, and is absolutely ridiculous at points. It’s not meant to be taken seriously, and it’s definitely a bodice-ripper that will see you publicly mocked if anyone catching you reading it. It’s  a chocolate chip ice cream with chocolate covered peanuts, mixed through with swirls of chocolate fudge on the first day of your menstrual cycle read.


Screamtastic: Horror Novels for Book Clubs

Want your book club to venture into some seriously spooky or terrifying territory? Are they reluctant to do so because they don’t see what you could possibly talk about when it comes to horror? (Other than how much it scared you, of course!) Well, here’s a list of horror novels that you might want to present to your book club, and a few of the questions you could ask about each one. Plus, it might just open up a few minds to the realization there’s more horror writers out there than Stephen King.

Screamtastic: Horror Novels for Book Clubs

Bird Box - Horror Novels for Book ClubsBird Box by Josh Malerman
Pages: 262
Trigger Warnings: None



Possible Questions:

  1. Do you think Bird Box would have lost some of its impact if the monster was revealed?
  2. Do you agree that the mother did the right thing in trying to flee to safety? Why/Why not?
  3. What did you think of the non-linear timespan? How often is this an effective tool in novels?

Seed Me - Horror Novels for Book ClubsSeed Me by Konn Lavery
Pages: 228
Trigger Warnings: None



Possible Questions:

  1. Did the appearance of the book (words unusually close to margins, font) enhance or detract from your reading experience?
  2. The main characters are very ‘normal’ young adults, and aren’t exactly upstanding citizens at times. Did you have trouble connecting with them?
  3. What did you think of the ‘monsters’? It’s not exactly your typical hack-n-slash or possession horror. Did the author ‘sell’ you on these unusual creatures?

Mirror Image - Horror Novels for Book Club Mirror Image by Michael Scott & Melanie Ruth Rose

Pages: 352

Triggers: Rape


Possible Questions:

  1. From Narcissus falling in love with his reflection and dying because of it, to Medusa turning to stone once she saw her own reflection clear to modern movies like Mirrors and Occulus, there’s been negative connotations to reflections/reflective surfaces for thousands of years. Why? What is it about them that is so scary?
  2. Why are sex and horror so often associated with each other? Do you think the association hinders people from reading more horror because they don’t necessarily want to read about bits and bobs banging around?
  3. Do you agree with the author’s decision to explain exactly why the mirror is so horrible? Or should they have left well enough alone? In effect: What’s scarier? A horrible known, or a complete unknown?


Mother by Tamara Thorne & Alistair Cross

Pages: 538

Triggers: Suicide, Parental Abuse



Possible Questions:

  1. How did you feel about Priscilla before things ramped up in the book? Did you have any idea she’d turn out to be as sick as she was?
  2. Do you think Priscilla was mentally ill or just evil?
  3. What did you think of the setting? Did it add anything to it? Or would this book have been just as horrifying in any other location?

Alice - Horror Novels for Book Clubs Alice by Christina Henry

Pages: 291

Triggers: (Mentioned) Rape



Possible Questions:

  1. What were the similarities between Alice and the story it was derived from?
  2. What did you think of the relationship between Alice and Hatcher?
  3. Alice was an interesting character. Do you think the author portrayed her correctly? Was her mental state accurate?

It’s challenging to come up with questions for horror books!

Do you have any horror novels for book clubs recommendations? Can you think of better questions for these five novels than the ones I’ve asked?

T5W: Badly Behaved Books (Naughty Sci-Fi Novels)

This Top 5 Wednesday post is supposed to be all about gateway books into your favorite genre. However, because it’s Banned Books Week, we’re going to do things a little different. The science fiction books on this list are very naughty. So naughty, in fact, that people have either challenged them, or outright succeeded in getting them banned in various places. I guess you could consider them your gateway into being a bookworm rebel.  Are you rebel enough to read some of these badly behaved books?

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly book meme, done by most book bloggers and booktubers. It’s started out by Lainey, but is now hosted by Sam at Thoughts On Tomes. Here’s the Goodreads group if you want to join in!

Badly Behaved Books

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

brave-new-world Badly Behaved Books

Reasons: butts, boobs, racism, questioned/bashed religion, and sexual activities.


Reasons: Bad language and questioned/bashed religion.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Enders Game 2

Reasons: Nekkid people! NEKKID PEOPLE! (For a further ranting on this, please see this post.)

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut


Reasons: Dirty words. LOTS and lots of dirty words. Because we all know only uneducated heathens that are damned to the pits of hell let loose with a good f bomb every now and then.

The Giver by Lois Lowry


Reasons: People doing naughty things, questioning/bashing religion, and obviously too mature for its age range.

So, what have we learned from this Top 5 Wednesday about Badly Behaved Books?

Well, we’ve primarily learned that a good bit of religious people absolutely can’t stand to have religion questioned (not all, though. Some of y’all are actually pretty cool.) That daring to not bow down at the feet of your continent’s primary divine being is a horrible, awful, no good, very bad thing. (Honestly, I don’t have much of a problem with religion itself. I have a problem with religious zealots who do stupid crap like try to get books banned because they don’t toe their particular line.)

We’ve also learned that dirty words are an absolute no-no! It doesn’t matter that little Johnny’s probably heard at least your basic 3 Staples of Cursing by the time he’s ten. Oh, no…  no chance of that. His mind has been untouched by the depravity of such words and it must stay that way!

(For the record: I have the mouth of a sailor, and have never restricted it around my daughter. She refuses to curse (not that I’ve ever tried to make her.) It cracks me up, especially since she knows I have no problem with her cursing as long as it’s used appropriate to her situation. So a stubbed toe that elicits a “D*mmit!” would be perfectly fine for me, but a casual “So this sonuva…” in conversation would not be.)

Have you ever read any of these badly behaved books?



T5W: Sci-Fi Character Lives that Suck

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Frequently when reading or talking about books, it’s easy to imagine yourself in the place of your favorite characters. What girl wouldn’t want to be the bookworm who saves the day, or the butt-kicking heroine, etc? What boy wouldn’t love to be the dashing hero, the valiant space-fighter, or even the genius astronaut who brains his way through surviving alone on Mars? There are so many characters out there that it would be awesome to be – even for a day! …….but have you ever thought about the other ones? I mean, some characters lives in our favorite books just … suck.  (This will be kept as spoiler free as possible, but spoilers may happen.)  Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly book meme, done by most book bloggers and booktubers. It’s started out by Lainey, but is now hosted by Sam at Thoughts On Tomes. Here’s the Goodreads group if you want to join in!

5 Sci-fi Character Lives that Suck

Enders GameI mean, who in their right mind would want to be Andrew Wiggin, from Ender’s Game? He spends his first 6 years of life with everything he does being monitored, faces possibly being killed by his brother, and then gets shipped off to Battle School. In Battle School he’s pushed far harder than any little kid should ever be, etc. Soo… yeah, little dude is king of the “Sci-Fi Character Lives that Suck” crowd. My review of Ender’s Game.


Tau Zero is breath-taking in its way. People who slam it for the soap-opera dialogue miss the whole point.

The whole crew from Tau Zero. Can you imagine going through what they went through? I mean, knowing that even if you do manage to live to an old age, everyone you’ve ever known back on earth is dead. Not only dead, but dust in the wind on an almost incomprehensible level. The psychological burden must be immense. There’s no way most people could handle being in their situation. None. My review of Tau Zero.


On the Edge of GoneDenise from On the Edge of Gone. Being anywhere on the autism spectrum is hard enough. Being severely autistic is even more difficult. But being severely autistic AND having to save your family during the apocalypse? Denise is a wonderfully strong character, but there’s no possible way you could say she has it easy in any way, shape, or form.  My review of On the Edge of Gone.


The Dean MachineHonestly, Dan Delacour from The Dean Machine has a life that almost rivals Ender’s for pure suckage. I can’t say much without spoiling but lets just say  no part of him is his own, and he gets debased and victimized in every way short of rape. My review of The Dean Machine.



The Lathe of Heaven 1Finally, George from The Lathe of Heaven. He is another one of those deals where even if he makes it through things alive, he’ll never be unscathed. When your dreams had the power to change reality, and you were one of the few who could remember all of what happened, there’s no way you’ll ever be normal again. Even if the power to change reality was suddenly taken away from you, wouldn’t you spend your whole life either afraid to fall asleep in case it came back, or having nightmares from what you inadvertently did?  Crap. My review of The Lathe of Heaven.



Feel free to leave your links, or just tell me what characters (sci-fi character lives that suck or otherwise) lives you wouldn’t want to live!



T5W: My Sci-Fi & Scary Family

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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly book meme, done by most book bloggers and booktubers. It’s started out by Lainey, but is now hosted by Sam at Thoughts On Tomes. Here’s the Goodreads group if you want to join in! This week’s topic is book characters I’d pick for family members. So, without further ado, here’s my

Sci-Fi & Scary Family

  1. Okiku from The Girl from the Well / The Suffering. Okiku kicks butt, okay? And she’s fiercely loyal to Tark. Yes, she might look absolutely horrible most of the time, and have a vengeful streak a mile wide, but if I could have had her as a big sister? Talk about leading a life where no one dares to screw with you.
  2. Melanie from The Girl with all the Gifts . Extremely intelligent, extremely loving, and yet possessing certain … abilities (trying not to spoil for the one or two people out there who haven’t read the book by now), Melanie would be a kick-arse little sister / best friend. 
  3. Mark Watney from The Martian. The man survived on Mars for 18 months on potatoes he farmed in his own feces. So, yeah, if I had to pick an older brother to McGuyver me out of situations, it’d be Watney. Plus, he’s a smart-arse, and who doesn’t want that in a sibling?
  4. Jeremiah Hunt from Eyes to See. Dude willingly cast a spell that blinded him on the slightest chance it would help him find his taken daughter. And he stuck with it until he got a resolution, even if it wasn’t the one he wanted. So, yeah, he’d be the dad I’d want on my side.
  5. The Mom, Dr. Hayes-Rodriguez, from House of Robots. She’s absolutely brilliant, completely loving, and would do anything for her kids and husband. Plus, she’s slightly batty. So, yeah, I pick her to be my mom, please!

The Girl from the Well ReviewThe Girl With All The GiftsThe Martian Review (Book)Eyes to See ReviewHouse of Robots

So, there you are, my Book Family.

Hopefully I share at least one with someone else! Leave your links, or just tell me who you’d choose in the comments below 🙂

T5W: Science Fiction & Horror to Read Before 2017

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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly book meme, done by most book bloggers and booktubers. It’s started out by Lainey, but is now hosted by Sam at Thoughts On Tomes. Here’s theGoodreads group if you want to join in! My top 5 science fiction & horror to read before 2017 gets here. These do not include review submissions, but are already published books (though not necessarily new releases) that I need to read.

Science Fiction & Horror Books to Read Before 2017

The Kraken

The Kraken

The Kraken Synopsis:

In the Darwin Centre at London’s Natural History Museum, Billy Harrow, a cephalopod specialist, is conducting a tour whose climax is meant to be the Centre’s prize specimen of a rare Architeuthis dux—better known as the Giant Squid. But Billy’s tour takes an unexpected turn when the squid suddenly and impossibly vanishes into thin air.

As Billy soon discovers, this is the precipitating act in a struggle to the death between mysterious but powerful forces in a London whose existence he has been blissfully ignorant of until now, a city whose denizens—human and otherwise—are adept in magic and murder.

There is the Congregation of God Kraken, a sect of squid worshippers whose roots go back to the dawn of humanity—and beyond. There is the criminal mastermind known as the Tattoo, a merciless maniac inked onto the flesh of a hapless victim. There is the FSRC—the Fundamentalist and Sect-Related Crime Unit—a branch of London’s finest that fights sorcery with sorcery. There is Wati, a spirit from ancient Egypt who leads a ragtag union of magical familiars. There are the Londonmancers, who read the future in the city’s entrails. There is Grisamentum, London’s greatest wizard, whose shadow lingers long after his death. And then there is Goss and Subby, an ageless old man and a cretinous boy who, together, constitute a terrifying—yet darkly charismatic—demonic duo.

All of them—and others—are in pursuit of Billy, who inadvertently holds the key to the missing squid, an embryonic god whose powers, properly harnessed, can destroy all that is, was, and ever shall be.




It’s possible that a big part of this may be so I can use the following gif at the beginning of the review. Not gonna lie.

Burnt Offerings

Burnt OfferingsBurnt Offerings Synopsis: The Rolfes — Ben, wife Marian, son David, and Aunt Elizabeth — are a pleasant family from New York seeking to escape from the doldrums of a summer in their Queens apartment. They find a beautiful old country mansion on Long Island — restful, secluded, with pool and private beach — perfect, for the right people. But their “perfect” summer home hides terrors beyond their wildest imaginings. During that long summer the house becomes a nightmare from which there seems to be no escape.

I, Robot

I RobotI, Robot Synopsis: The three laws of Robotics:
1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2) A robot must obey orders givein to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

With these three, simple directives, Isaac Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future–a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete.

Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-read robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world–all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asmiov’s trademark.




Is this gif not creepy as Hades?

The Mote in God’s Eye

The Mote in Gods EyeThe Mote in God’s Eye Synopsis: In 3016, the 2nd Empire of Man spans hundreds of star systems, thanks to faster-than-light Alderson Drive. Intelligent beings are finally found from the Mote, an isolated star in a thick dust cloud. The bottled-up ancient civilization, at least one million years old, are welcoming, kind, yet evasive, with a dark problem they have not solved in over a million years.

House of Leaves

House of Leaves Synopsis: 

Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth — musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies — the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.

Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices.

The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story — of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.

T5W: Books They Haven’t Even Written Yet, but I Want.

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday is on: Favorite authors who you want to write another book but haven’t yet. Or they are writing something, but no title or synopsis has been released and it isn’t coming out until 2018. Try to keep this to authors who haven’t announced anything concrete about a new book, not authors that have a highly anticipated release coming out before the end of 2016.

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve done a T5W, hasn’t it?! For those of who you may have forgot: Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly book meme, done by most book bloggers and booktubers. It’s started out by Lainey, but is now hosted by Sam at Thoughts On Tomes. Here’s the Goodreads group if you want to join in!

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Books They Haven’t Even Written Yet, but I Want From My Favorite Authors

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T5W: Science Fiction and Horror Summer Reads

T5W Banner - For Science Fiction and Horror Summer Reads Post

Top 5 Wednesday: You know, restricting yourself to science fiction and horror can be very rewarding and enjoyable. It can also be a right pain in the posterior, especially when you’re writing a post around a topic such as “books you’d associate with summer.”  I’m sure lots of book reviewers gasped in joy at the topic, and easily gathered their five. In the meantime, I’m over here in the corner going “Horror books set in summer?” “Horror books about summer?” “Horror books about heat? climate change?” “Science fiction books about climate change?” and attempting to not give myself a concussion by slamming my head against a wall multiple times. But, I did it! I came up with 5 Science Fiction and Horror Summer Reads! Hope you enjoy!

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T5W: Book Characters I Identify With

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This Top 5 Wednesday Prompt for May 11th is: Characters You Are Most Like. You must choose characters you are like, not characters you WANT to be like. You can also choose one character trait you share with a particular character. For example, you may not have Hermione’s bravery, but you do have her book smarts! You’ve probably only heard of two of my choices…

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was formerly hosted by the booktuber, Lainey aka gingereadslainey. She recently passed the torch on, but you can find the topics and the Goodreads page of the book meme here.

Top 5 Book Characters I Identify With

5. Eve Dallas from the In Death series by J.D. Robb – Dallas has a complete inability to put up with bullsh*t, and she also has basically NO brain to mouth filter. Here are two really awesome quotes that illustrate that.

“Lord, Give me the strength not to b*tch slap this woman.” ― J.D. Robb


“Do you think the p****  ever gets tired?”


Anybody’s. I mean anybody with one. Does the p**** ever just think: for God’s sake pal, give it a rest? Or is it all: Woo-who!! Here we go again!”― J.D. Robb

4. Mark Watney from The Martian by Andy Weir – The sarcasm and inappropriate jokes. I think this is a huge reason I love this book as much as I do. I’d totally say the crap this man says. Such as:

“Problem is (follow me closely here, the science is pretty complicated), if I cut a hole in the Hab, the air won’t stay inside anymore.”
Andy Weir, The Martian


“[11:49] JPL: What we can see of your planned cut looks good. We’re assuming the other side is identical. You’re cleared to start drilling. [12:07] Watney: That’s what she said. [12:25] JPL: Seriously, Mark? Seriously?”
Andy Weir, The Martian

3. Ship from Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson – The innately logical mind grappling to come to terms with the f****whittery that is humanity and the odd need to look deeper into things like words, connations, and evolution.

“Is this narcissism? Solipsism? Idiocy (from the Greek word idios, for self)? Would Turing acknowledge it as a proof of human behavior? Well, perhaps. They drove Turing to suicide too.”― Kim Stanley Robinson, Aurora


“Words blur at the borders, fuzz into other words, not just in big clouds of connotation around the edges of the word, but right there in the heart of denotation itself.” ― Kim Stanley Robinson, Aurora

2. Ender from Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – the inability to give up, even though you desperately want to at times, because you just don’t know how to quit, and the intrinsic distrust of humanity because they’ve proven themselves to collectively be untrustworthy, cruel, and incomprehensible.

“I’ve lived too long with pain. I won’t know who I am without it.” ― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game


“the seed of doubt was there, and it stayed, and every now and then sent out a little root. It changed everything, to have that seed growing. It made Ender listen more carefully to what people meant, instead of what they said. It made him wise.” ― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game


“Sometimes lies were more dependable than the truth.” ― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game


“But I fear that I also underestimate the stupidity of the rest of mankind. Are we absolutely sure that we ought to win this war?” ― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

1. Georgia Mason from the Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant – The belief in, and respect of, the power of words and her pessimism.

“Words have power.” ― Mira Grant, Blackout


“Are you ever not a pessimist?”

“Sometimes. But then I wake up.” ― Mira Grant, Feed



Did we share a character?

Leave your links or your top 5 below!

T5W: Most Memorable Mothers in Literature

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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was formerly hosted by the booktuber, Lainey aka gingereadslainey. She recently passed the torch on, but you can find the topics and the Goodreads page of the book meme here. This week’s topic was Top 5 Mother/Maternal Figures. It was really hard for me to avoid some men maternal figures, but I figure we’ll probably hit that around Father’s day, so I’m going to be nice. Even if it means I might have to get a bit twisted. My take on this topic is Most Memorable Mothers in Literature because, face it, the most memorable ones aren’t always sweetness and light:

Top 5 Most Memorable Mothers in Literature

  1. Prissy Martin from Mother by Tamara Thorne & Alistair Cross. Prissy Martin may be a mother, but she’s also a disgusting pervert with hoarding and child abuse issues. She’s definitely a very memorable mommy.
  2. Molly Weasley from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. “Not my daughter, you b*tch!” Molly Weasley was the mum everyone wanted to have. Not only was she generous and loving, she was also feisty and unafraid to stand up to anyone. She was perfect.
  3. Penryn’s Mom from Angelfall. I don’t remember her being named specifically, but once you read about her, she definitely stands out in your mind. She’s probably the only mother I’ve read in Young Adult literature in recent years that wasn’t ‘quirky-endearing-odd’ but just outright scarily mentally ill. Yet she loves her kids and they love her.
  4. Dr. Mira from the In Death series. She loves Eve like she’s her own child. She’s flawed and perfectly human and perfectly wonderful. She’s elegance and sophistication and tea and biscuits when you’re sad. She’s pure steel underneath it all.
  5. Iza from the Earth’s Children series by Jean M. Auel. I think Iza sticks out in the mind of anyone who read the series. She did so much for Ayla that she didn’t have to do, and she loved her as best she could. Without Iza adopting Ayla, she never would have survived and grew up to become the awesome woman she did.

Leave your links!