Posts Categorized: Recommended Reading 101

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

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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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Recommended Reading 101: Fantasy Romance

February 4, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 5 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?

Fantasy Romance 101


Book Review – First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda JonesIf you’re looking for something with equal parts steamy and humor…

First Grave on the Right, the first installment in the Charley Davidson series, is crazy entertaining. Charley has a non-stop snarky sense of humor and is one of my all time favorite literary characters. These stories are a witty combination of mystery and paranormal with some seriously steamy scenes between Charley and Reyes, the literal son of Satan.



1451694If you’re looking for something with a brooding male lead in a fascinating world…

This was one of the very first Urban Fantasy series I fell in love with and it’s still one of my all time favorites to this day (at least the first 5 installments are). The Fever series has always had one of the most captivating magical worlds where the Fae walk among us along with many other dark and mysterious things. And of course Jericho Barrons.



Book Review – A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. MaasIf you’re looking for some heart-wrenching, unforgettable romance…

A Court of Thorns and Roses didn’t cause complete swoons (it’s really the second book that I loved but reading the first is a must). Regardless, Maas writes some phenomenal romances and I absolutely adore this intriguing retelling of Beauty and the Beast.


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Recommended Reading 101: Reality TV

January 28, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 5 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?

Reality TV 101

Book Review – The Last One: A Novel by Alexandra OlivaIf you’re looking for something post-apocalyptic…

Alexandra Olivia’s debut novel was enough to make me believe there’s still some life in the post-apocalyptic genre. Twelve individuals participate in a wilderness survival show with no idea that in the world outside, their survival is becoming less reality tv and more reality.


Book Review – The Long Walk by Stephen KingIf you’re looking for something subtly horrific…

In The Long Walk, 100 boys compete in a  to see who can out walk the other 99. Only Stephen King could write such a spellbinding tale of a bunch of boys doing nothing but walking.


Ominous October – A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul TremblayIf you’re looking for some family drama and an exorcism…

A Head Full of Ghosts is a mystery/horror combination, where a family who garners the attention of a television producer is given their own television show. Their daughter is diagnosed with schizophrenia but they soon realize that she may need an exorcism instead.


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Recommended Reading 101: Unreliable Narrators

January 21, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 2 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?

Unreliable Narrators 101

Early Review – The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren SumaIf you’re looking for a haunting story (both literal and figurative)…

Nova Ren Suma is known for her incredible stories but this one takes the cake. The Walls Around Us delves into juvenile delinquency and the discrepancies in the criminal justice system as well as the harsh reality of discrimination, and the blurred lines between fantasy and reality.


Book Review – The Collector by John FowlesIf you’re looking for something especially disturbing…

The Collector is the story of Frederick Clegg, a man that collects butterflies but begins to desire collecting other beautiful things. Like a girl named Miranda. The story splits points of view between the two characters. It’s an unnerving yet unforgettable read.


Short & Sweet Review – The Secret History by Donna TarttIf you’re looking for the classic boarding school novel…

 The Secret History is one of the most enthralling stories I’ve ever read. Beautifully written and immensely captivating. The end is revealed at the very beginning of the book but it doesn’t detract from the shocking way it unfolds.


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