Posts Categorized: Recommended Reading 101

Recommended Reading: Psychological Thrillers

April 22, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 1 Comment

Taking classes and getting excited for the assigned reading was always my favorite part of school. Using that same concept and turning different genres, locations, and subjects into a course of their own, you could come up with your own assigned reading. These would be my picks for recommended reading, what would yours be?

Psychological Thrillers 101

6569735If you’re looking for a story from a survivor of a massacre…

…then pick up Dark Places. After her family was all killed and her brother is sent to prison for the crime, Libby Day tries her best to live a normal life, to no avail. She begins to reinvestigate the crime after a group known as “The Kill Club” shares with her their belief that her brother is actually innocent. Gone Girl may be her most popular but Dark Places is Gillian Flynn’s best story yet.


Early Review + Giveaway! Night Film by Marisha PesslIf you’re looking for a literary mystery with unique visual incorporation…

An investigative journalist begins searching for a young girl gone missing and falls down the rabbit hole of an even bigger mystery at work. The actual story of Night Film is superb but the incorporation of visual aids (newspaper articles, websites, and case notes) that takes this mystery to a whole other level.


Classic Curiosity – And Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieIf you’re looking for a go-to classic…

And Then There Were None is a constant guessing game when ten people arrive on an island and one by one they each suffer a tragic fate. A nursery rhyme is the only thing that predicts exactly how each guest will fall, but who is next, and who is responsible for committing the crimes? Such twisted good fun.


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Recommended Reading: Stories in Verse

April 8, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 3 Comments

Taking classes and getting excited for the assigned reading was always my favorite part of school. Using that same concept and turning different genres, locations, and subjects into a course of their own, you could come up with your own assigned reading. These would be my picks for recommended reading, what would yours be?

Verse 101

I’m going to an event to see Ellen Hopkins today so in celebration of this exciting event, I’m sharing a few of my favorite stories in verse!

2241059If you’re looking for a coming-of-age story in verse from one of the very best…

Identical is about Kaeleigh and Raeanne, twins, that seem to have the perfect life but their secrets run dark and deep. It deals with a lot of issues: self-harm, bullying, drug abuse, and rape just to mention just a few. Hopkins carefully layers each issue within the tale without making it feel excessive. This is one of Hopkins’ best and has a most unforgettable twist.


753028If you’re looking for some free verse poetry about the deceased of a fictional town…

Spoon River Anthology was such an amazingly fun read, delving into the history of the residents of Spoon River and usually how they each met their death. More along the lines of poetry but highly recommended for those of you that haven’t found any poetry collections that actually work for you. This one is for you.


Short & Sweet – Half-Blood Prince, The Rose and the Dagger, The Lover’s DictionaryIf you’ve read a ton of verse, but are looking for something different…

Lover’s Dictionary is a gorgeous little story that is told verse-like but is actually a series of dictionary definition entries. It’s emotional and moving and show every facet that love entails — the good and the bad. It’s a powerful little book so be prepared to feel things.


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Recommended Reading 101: Graphic Novels

April 1, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 3 Comments

Taking classes and getting excited for the assigned reading was always my favorite part of school. Using that same concept and turning different genres, locations, and subjects into a course of their own, you could come up with your own assigned reading. These would be my picks for recommended reading, what would yours be?

Graphic Novels 101

With the rise in graphic novel popularity, these are a few I feel have been glanced over but are definitely deserving of a read.

 photo 26351_zpsyyvxap7n.jpgIf you’re looking for a story about a housewife that is more than she seems…

Lady Killer is the story of Josie Schuller, a picture-perfect wife and mother who kills people in her spare time before picking the kids up from school. This one is a ton of gritty fun with some unexpected laughs and gorgeous (yet bloody) illustrations. Volume 2 comes out in a few short months.


 photo 11489682_zpswjy8wrgc.jpgIf you’re looking for true crime in the form of a graphic novel…

…then you should pick up Green River Killer. This is the true story of a serial killer in the 1980s, responsible for the deaths of dozens of women in the Seattle area. The most interesting thing about this novel is the author is the son of Tom Jensen, the detective who was put in charge of this case.


 photo 20495212_zpskta3fkoi.jpgIf you’re looking for a story about zombies that isn’t The Walking Dead…

Revival, Vol. 1: You’re Among Friends is the introduction to a small town that is put under quarantine after the dead come back to life. They’re far from the people they were in life, but they aren’t the straight-forward out for brains zombies. After a brutal murder though, the dead coming back to life are suddenly the least of their worries.


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Recommended Reading 101: Magical Realism

March 25, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 4 Comments

Taking classes and getting excited for the assigned reading was always my favorite part of school. Using that same concept and turning different genres, locations, and subjects into a course of their own, you could come up with your own assigned reading. These would be my picks for recommended reading, what would yours be?

Magical Realism 101

 photo 22535489_zpsq6g2rpnc.jpgIf you’re looking for mythology + magical realism…

Bone Gap is the gorgeously written retelling of the abduction of Persephone myth. It’s cryptically written but it’s also fanciful and unconventional. Mythology + Magical Realism + Romance = Bone Gap. There’s a reason this was a National Book Award finalist in 2015.


 photo 9780375725845_zpshi306x4b.jpgIf you’re looking for horror + magical realism…

Perfume is the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a boy born with an astonishing sense of smell. He grows up and becomes an apprentice to a master perfumer who teaches him the art of making perfume. His desire to create the ultimate perfume takes him down a very dark path. This remains one of my all-time favorite reads.


 photo 2200877_zpscg7xrz2q.jpgIf you’re looking for romance + magical realism…

Sarah Addison Allen was my first introduction into the sweeter form of magical realism and I adore everything she’s written. Sugar Queen, the story of Josey Cirrini who has an insatiable sweet tooth, is my favorite of hers. Romance + fairy godmother + delicious sweets = a most delectable tale.


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Recommended Reading 101: Assassins

March 18, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 1 Comment

Taking classes and getting excited for the assigned reading was always my favorite part of school. Using that same concept and turning different genres, locations, and subjects into a course of their own, you could come up with your own assigned reading. These would be my picks for recommended reading, what would yours be?

Assassins 101

Early Review – Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFeversIf you’re looking for a story about assassin nuns…

…because let’s be real. Who isn’t? Grave Mercy is the story of Ismae who is sold to a pig farmer but is turned away after he sees the scarring on her body. The scarring that identifies her as having been sired by the god of Death himself. This is one fascinating and thrilling story that is impossible to put down.


 photo 16034235_zpsdsiz2ahv.jpgIf you’re looking for a story that plays on the Cinderella fairy tale…

This series has been hyped to an extraordinary degree but is one that is fully deserving. Throne of Glass was originally a play on the original Cinderella fairy tale and Maas has created a fascinating world full of incredible characters. The sixth and final installment comes out next year and if you’re just starting out, be sure to read The Assasin’s Blade first.


 photo 19090384_zpssujvzlzd.jpgIf you’re looking for a story about badasses stopping an assassin…

Dina Demille runs a magical Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town and when someone or something has brought death to her community, she sets out to stop it. This one manages to possess a strong female lead, believable alpha-males (even a love triangle that I didn’t mind a bit), fantastic secondary characters that aren’t relegated to the background, and some steamy chemistry. If you’re a fan of cozy mysteries, Clean Sweep is the next step up.


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Recommended Reading 101: Time Travel

March 11, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 7 Comments

Taking classes and getting excited for the assigned reading was always my favorite part of school. Using that same concept and turning different genres, locations, and subjects into a course of their own, you could come up with your own assigned reading. These would be my picks for recommended reading, what would yours be?

Time Travel 101

In honor of Daylight Savings time, these are a few of my favorite stories that deal with lost time.

Early Review – The Shining Girls by Lauren BeukesIf you’re looking for a time travel crime thriller…

The Shining Girls is the story of a man that travels through time, committing murders. He visits his victims when they are children to warn them of what’s to come later in life when he revisists them. This is a nightmarish tale but Beukes is a truly amazing writer.


 photo MichaelCrighton_Timeline_zpse4a7d4xu.jpgIf you’re looking for a story to take you back to the medieval ages…

Timeline is the original time travel story for me. Crichton tells the riveting story of a group of archaeologists that are sent back in time to the medieval ages. 600 years before their time. Much like how Crichton blew me away with his scientific detailing in Andromeda Strain, he will have you believing time travel is absolutely possible.


Book Review – The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean GreerIf you’re looking for a time travel tale that deals with past lives…

In The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells, Greta Wells undergoes electroconvulsive therapy in an attempt to cure her crippling depression yet after each session finds herself living a slightly different life than her own in a different time period. I read this many years ago and at the time found this to be flawed, yet it’s a story that has curiously stuck with me and that I find myself thinking on often.


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Recommended Reading 101: New Orleans

March 4, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 6 Comments

Taking classes and getting excited for the assigned reading was always my favorite part of school. Using that same concept and turning different genres, locations, and subjects into a course of their own, you could come up with your own assigned reading. These would be my picks for recommended reading, what would yours be?

New Orleans 101

 photo french-quarter-557458_640_zps1wqzcipr.jpg

11178225If you’re looking for a historical mystery set in the 1950s…

Out of the Easy is the story of a young girl, the daughter of a brothel prostitute, struggling to make a new name for herself. Recent secrets have been dug up that involve her mother and she gets embroiled in the mystery proving that New Orleans isn’t done with her yet. Septys never disappoints with her tales of young girls in the past.


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If you’re looking for a post-apocalyptic tale (without any romance)…

After the Gulf Coast is ravaged by hurricanes and an outbreak causes a mass quaratine, (New) Orleans is irrevocably changed. Post-apocalyptic stories became a massive hit and this one remains vastly underrated for reasons unknown. I’ve read dozens upon dozens and Orleans remains one of my favorite stories of survival.


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If you’re looking for a classic vampire tale…

Interview with the Vampire is the book about New Orleans. Well, and vampires too, of course. The first introduction to her recurring character Lestat, this novel was written in 1976 and it still reigns popular with good reason.


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Recommended Reading 101: Aussie YA

February 25, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 4 Comments

Taking classes and getting excited for the assigned reading was always my favorite part of school. Using that same concept and turning different genres, locations, and subjects into a course of their own, you could come up with your own assigned reading. These would be my picks for recommended reading, what would yours be?

Aussie YA 101


Book Tour Review – Fury by Shirley MarrIf you’re looking for a Aussie murder mystery…

Fury was such a thrilling debut read that made it impossible to put this down (I stayed up till 2am to finish it). Hands down one of the best YA mysteries I’ve ever read. A bit hard to get a hold of this but well worth it.


Early Review – Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

If you’re looking for something compelling and realistic…

Graffiti Moon remains one of my all-time favorites in realistic YA. Cath Crowley is a most amazing writer and this story of love, humor, and amazing characterization is completely unforgettable.


Book Review – Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher

If you’re looking for an emotionally complex whirlwind…

Stolen was not a story that I anticipated to love so much that I’m still bringing it up five years later. Stockholm Syndrome is a delicate subject matter to tackle but I believe it was handled incredibly well.


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Recommended Reading 101: Forbidden Love

February 18, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 1 Comment

Taking classes and getting excited for the assigned reading was always my favorite part of school. Using that same concept and turning different genres, locations, and subjects into a course of their own, you could come up with your own assigned reading. These would be my picks for recommended reading, what would yours be?

Forbidden Love 101

8179495If you’re looking for something literary and brutally honest…

A chance encounter with a stranger leads a woman to question everything about herself, her marriage, and her life. Love in Mid Air was beautifully written and hopeful tale of life continuing even when you didn’t think it could.


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If you’re looking for something in verse…

Triangles bounces between three female characters all dealing with mid-life crisis clichés but Hopkins gives each an enthralling complexity in her first adult novel.


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If you’re looking for a complex tragedy…

Indiscretion is full of characters that most will fail to sympathize with but their story will enrapt you. Dubow’s writing reads much like Fitzgerald and its sultry rhythm will be the highlight of this tale.


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Recommended Reading 101: Office Romance

February 11, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 1 Comment

Taking classes and getting excited for the assigned reading was always my favorite part of school. Using that same concept and turning different genres, locations, and subjects into a course of their own, you could come up with your own assigned reading. These would be my picks for recommended reading, what would yours be?

Office Romance 101

28938849If you’re looking for something cute and funny about work enemies falling in love…

The Hating Game is one of the most fantastic debut novels I have ever read. Lucy and Joshua hate each other (but not really because they’ve been secretly falling in love with each other for years). This one has hysterical banter and some seriously hot chemistry.


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If you’re looking for something with more suspense…

Something About You combines a murder mystery with some slow-building office romance between a U.S. attorney and an FBI agent who are working a case together. This one leaned more towards predictable but the chemistry + steamy scenes made this well worth the read.


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If you’re looking for an epistolary novel about finding love in unexpected ways…

Attachments was my very first Rowell and is my all-time favorite of hers. Combining hilarious e-mail banter between friends Beth and Jennifer and a behind the scenes look at the IT man responsible for monitoring work e-mails who slowly begins falling in love with Beth and you’ve got Attachments.


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