T5W – Forget Me Not

Today’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is: Forgettable Books.

Now, I read A LOT and I honestly don’t have the best of memories, but I can usually at least remember vague details from books I’ve read, so I thought I’d have some trouble with this topic. Not so. As I scoured my Read list on Goodreads, I came across these 5 books that I KNOW I read (I at least remember that much), but I have NO CLUE what happened in them.

The Black Book of Secrets – Tales from the Sinister City #1 (F.E. Higgins)

blackbookofsecretsDescription from Goodreads: When Ludlow Fitch’s parents cruelly betray him, he steals away on the back of a carriage and leaves behind the stinking City. He arrives in the dead of night at a remote village, where he crosses paths with the tall and limping figure of Joe Zabbidou – a pawnbroker with a difference. For Joe trades secrets, not goods, for cash.

Employed as Joe’s assistant, Ludlow records the villagers’ fiendish confessions in an ancient leather-bound volume: The Black Book of Secrets. There’s the gravedigger who has been resurrecting bodies; the butcher who made a mouse-meat pie for his bullying father, with fatal consequences; the wizened bookseller who went to murderous lengths to get her hands on a priceless tome.

Ludlow longs to trust his mysterious master, but he senses Joe has much to hide. But then Ludlow Fitch has his own, very dark, secrets . . .

My Review: Now, I definitely remember liking this book. I even remember forgetting the title, then stumbling across it on Goodreads one day and being super excited because “That’s it! That’s that book!”. But I have no clue what it was about. ::shrugs::

The Five People You Meet in Heaven (Mitch Albom)

5peopleyoumeetDescription from Goodreads: Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It’s a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie’s five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his “meaningless” life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: “Why was I here?”

My Review: The only thing I remember about this one is that it was a let down. It was this huge bestseller and was supposed to be all inspiring…but I just found it boring.

Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit – Ishmael #1 (Daniel Quinn)

ishmaelDescription from Goodreads: TEACHER SEEKS PUPIL.
Must have an earnest desire to
save the world. Apply in person.

It was just a three-line ad in the personals section, but it launched the adventure of a lifetime… 

My Review: This one, on the other hand, I remember being blown away by. I think it was one of the first books I’d read that really made me think about my own perception of the world…but it’s been so long, I can’t remember why.

A Separate Peace (John Knowles)

seperatepeaceDescription from Goodreads: Set at a boys boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.

My Review: Now THIS book is supposed to be this wonderful coming-of-age tale, a bestseller for over 30 years…and the only thing I remember from reading it was that I hated it with a fiery passion. No clue why. I think I’ve blocked it from my memory on purpose, the same way I did with Heart of Darkness. 😉

Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth (J.V. Hart)

captainhookDescription from Goodreads: With his long black curls, a shadowy family tree, and an affinity for pet spiders, James Matthew bears little resemblance to his starched-collar, blue-blooded peers at Eton. Dubbed King Jas., he stops at nothing to become the most notorious underclassman in the prestigious school’s history. For James, sword fighting, falling in love with an Ottoman Sultana, and challenging the Queen of England are all in a day’s skullduggery. But when he sets sail on a ship with a mysterious mission, King Jas.’ dream of discovering a magical island quickly turns into an unimaginable nightmare.

My Review: I honestly don’t remember this one at all. Not even if I liked it or not. Even reading the description didn’t help. ::shrugs::


How about you? Any books in your Read list that you just don’t remember?

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T5W – And Now I Can’t Get Natalie Merchant Out of My Head…

Hi all! Wow, it’s been AGES since I did a Top 5 Wednesday! I’m going to do a delayed post from last week, since I really like that topic, so…

Today’s Top 5 Wednesday Topic is: Books For Which You Are Thankful

I have quite a lot of books that I love, but in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I think I’ll aim for books that have made a real difference in my life.

Fatso Jean, the Ice Cream Queen (Maryann MacDonald)

6-12-2017 1-27-43 PMDescription from Amazon: A misfit in a neighborhood filled with athletic youngsters, nine-year-old Jean seeks solace in eating ice cream, until the teasing of the “Mean Team” leads Jean to set up her own business making ice cream.

My Review: Strange pick, I know, but this was the very first book I read where I actually empathized with the main character. I myself was a large little girl who just wanted to fit in and have friends. This book taught me that you should love yourself, regardless of how you look, and that confidence in yourself is the key to living the life you want.

The Hardy Boys (Franklin W. Dixon)

The_Tower_TreasureCondensed Description from WikipediaThe Hardy Boys are fictional teenage brothers and amateur detectives. They live in the city of Bayport on with their father, detective Fenton Hardy, their mother, Laura Hardy, and their Aunt Gertrude. Frank, the older brother, is eighteen (sixteen in earlier versions), and his younger brother Joe is seventeen (fifteen in earlier versions). 

The Hardy Boys are constantly involved in adventure and action. Despite frequent danger, the boys “never lose their nerve … They are hardy boys, luckier and more clever than anyone around them.” They live in an atmosphere of mystery and intrigue: “Never were so many assorted felonies committed in a simple American small town. Murder, drug peddling, race horse kidnapping, diamond smuggling, medical malpractice, big-time auto theft, even (in the 1940s) the hijacking of strategic materials and espionage, all were conducted with Bayport as a nucleus.” 

My Review: This was the series that made me fall in love with reading. The original books are perfect for middle grade kids: easy to read/follow and filled with thrilling adventures and mysteries. Over the years, they’ve transitioned to include books for younger and older kids as well. To this day, I own over 200 of these books and I wouldn’t give them up for the world. 🙂

Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling)

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Condensed Description from WikipediaThe novels chronicle the life of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry’s struggle against Lord Voldemort, a dark wizard who intends to become immortal, overthrow the wizard governing body known as the Ministry of Magic, and subjugate all wizards and muggles, a reference term that means non-magical people.

My Review: Well, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who wasn’t in SOME way impacted by Harry Potter, but this was such a HUGE part of my life during college that I still to this day read the fanfic, buy all the new books and movies, and receive the merchandise from friends. I’m not QUITE as obsessed as I used to be, but I still really love the HP universe.

Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Daniel Quinn)

ishmaelDescription from Goodreads: TEACHER SEEKS PUPIL. Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person. – It was just a three-line ad in the personals section, but it launched the adventure of a lifetime… 

My Review: There are some books that have to hit you at the right point in your life in order to make an impact. This is one of those books and it hit me at just the right moment: early college days, just learning to think for myself instead of believing what everyone else told me. I don’t remember a lot of what the book discusses, but I DO remember it being one of the first books that I actually thought about in depth (and not just because I was assigned to do so). It made me feel like reading could actually have a meaning besides just having fun or learning information.

Hyperbole & a Half (Allie Brosh)

2D9725260-coverDescription from Goodreads: This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative–like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it–but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly.

So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book: Pictures, Words, Stories about things that happened to me, Stories about things that happened to other people because of me, Eight billion dollars*, Stories about dogs, The secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

My Review: This is one of my go-to books when I’m feeling blue. I’ve done a full review of it here. This book has gotten me through many a tough day; days when all I wanted to do was sleep, but was disgusted with myself for not doing something with my life instead of sitting around like a lump. I will forever be grateful to Allie for putting herself out there and helping me realize that I wasn’t alone.


What are some of the books YOU are thankful for?