Friday, June 27, 2014

Top 12 Favorite Books/Series

Hello Everyone! :)

So, for this post I am going to be naming off and writing a bit about why I love each of these 12 books/series. Most of them kinda say something about me too, others are honestly guilty pleasures.

Some have made me laugh or cry or shock me or angry or all 4 in one book, those are my favorite. I honestly took so much away from each of these books!

They are really in no particular order, I truly love all of them for different reasons and so saying one is more my favorite than the other would be like choosing which of my kids was my "favorite", which I would never do.

So along with the list I am going to include a short blurb about each book and why I love the book. So, off we go!

Book #1:
Dry by Augusten Burroughs
I was introduced to his work in 2006 via my older sister after she read Running With Scissors. I am so glad she did because now he is my favorite author. Dry is my favorite of his books mainly because it is mostly about his road to sobriety. Now, I have never has a drug or alcohol addiction, so I DO NOT know what the recovery is like. But, I have/had other addictions, while maybe not as severe they were still rough to get through.
This book is amazingly written with raw honesty, comic relief, emotions galore, and a dry/sarcastic humor. Everything I love in a book.
The Synopsis:
You may not know it, but you've met Augusten Burroughs. You've seen him on the street, in bars, on the subway, at restaurants: a twenty-something guy, nice suit, works in advertising. Regular. Ordinary. But when the ordinary person had two drinks, Augusten was circling the drain by having twelve; when the ordinary person went home at midnight, Augusten never went home at all. Loud, distracting ties, automated wake-up calls, and cologne on the tongue could only hide so much for so long. At the request (well, it wasn't really a request) of his employers, Augusten landed in rehab, where his dreams of group therapy with Robert Downey, Jr., are immediately dashed by the grim reality of fluorescent lighting and paper hospital slippers. But when Augusten is forced to examine himself, something actually starts to click, and that's when he finds himself in the worst trouble of all. Because when his thirty days are up, he has to return to his same drunken Manhattan life and live it sober. What follows is a memoir that's as moving as it is funny, as heartbreaking as it is real. Dry is the story of love, loss, and Starbucks as a higher power.
Check it out, it is a real eye-opener.

Book #2:
How to Make Love Like a Porn Star by Jenna Jameson
I have read this book twice. The first time was in 2006 when I first bought it. I worked at an adult novelty store and saw this monster of a book. I was totally drawn in after I read about it on the inside flap! This book was insightful, raw, emotional, and just totally honest. I laughed, cried, got mad, and a million other emotions while I read this book, both times.
I promise this is not some weird self-help book or how-to, it is the story of her life until I believe 2004. She led a crazy life with so many ups and downs. I can relate in the way of ups and downs, but I didn't live thru most of the stuff that she did in her life.
The Synopsis:
Her unforgettable memoir is many things at once: a shocking sexual history, an insider's guide to the secret workings of the billion-dollar adult-film industry, and a gripping thriller that probes deep into Jenna's dark past. An unparalleled exploration of sexual freedom, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star ventures far beyond the flesh, into the heart-shredding tragedies and adrenaline-pumping triumphs of a woman who has already lived a hundred lifetimes. Always witty and humorous even as she faces the demons of her past, Jenna offers hilarious anecdotes about one of the most controversial businesses in history, and shares outrageous advice, including her ten commandments of dating and sex, how to become a "suitcase pimp," and how to make it in the business as a female (or a male).
This book is totally worth reading. Beware it is not for the faint of heart or the close-minded.

Book #3:
The Breathing Series by Rebecca Donovan
This series was amazing! I can't remember how I found out about it, but however it happened, I am so glad I did! Rebecca Donovan really just dazzled me with how well she put her characters on paper. The storyline was perfect, the characters were flawless, and her descriptions were vivid. I will be buying her next book that comes out later this year for sure. I will also be rereading this series soon. I have a feeling it will be even better when I read them all together instead of separately like I did.
The Synopsis:
The Breathing Series is one girl's story of unspeakable cruelty, life-changing love, and her precarious grasp of hope.
Reason to Breathe:
Emma Thomas is hiding a terrible secret. Despite her academic prowess and athletic accomplishments, she focuses on surviving high school by fading into the shadows. Without expecting it, she finds love. It challenges her to recognize her own worth-at the risk of revealing a truth that could destroy everything.
Barely Breathing:
When Emma's torment is horrifyingly exposed, all those involved are still haunted by the memories. The bruises fade, but the scars and fears remain. And while some try to mend the wounds of the past, more secrets are revealed, along with a long-forgotten heartache.
Out of Breath:
Those she trusted betrayed her. Her broken heart still wounds her. Only love can save her. Emma can't even think about trusting others in her life again. She can't let anyone in, not when she knows all they'll find is darkness. But some people won't let go; won't take no for an answer and Emma has to decide whether the hidden truths and painful secrets are enough to let go of the possibility of love. Forever

Trust me when I say, you NEED to pick this series up, it is so worth every last penny and then some that you will spend on it! :)

Book #4:
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
This book and I had such a love/hate relationship! It made me laugh, cry, remember things I never could before, and well mainly cry. The last 100 or so pages, all I did was cry. It was so sweet, sad, heartbreaking, beautiful, and well I am an emotional mess most of the time, so I cry, a lot. lol. I heard about this book from someone on YouTube and well, I am glad I listened, because Morgan Matson is awesome! :)
The Synopsis:
Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.
Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.
As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

Trust me, if you need a feel-good book that will also make you cry your heart out, then this is the one!

Book #5:
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Kody Keplinger really made this book super relatable in so many ways and for many different types of people. I love when even as an adult I can learn certain things from YA books! I also learned about this book from someone on YouTube.

The Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Ahh, memories and feelings... Those things were prominent when I was reading this.

Book #6:
The Desperation, Oklahoma Series by Roxann Delaney
Website for book info and book covers
These books were written by the mom of 2 of my friends. They are great! Simply little love stories all flowing into one another. The last one in the series comes out in August, I am very sad because I have fallen in love with this town and the townsfolk. But, I have a feeling she will write plenty of more wonderful books after that!
The Synopsis:
The basic gist of the whole series is people meet in different ways and fall in love most take awhile to get to the happy ever after part, but all good books portray this.
Just trust me when I say, read this! Roxann Delaney's website

Book #7:
Love, In English by Karina Halle
I fell in love with this book. The main character and are a lot alike. Though, I am not into people who are that much older than I am though, lol. This book points on a topic that most don't talk about and won't. Girls who use sex as an escape from having to actually be attached to someone in more than a physical way. Guys do it too. I hope to read more of Karina's books soon, she is a wonderful writer and without a doubt made my top 10 favorite authors list too.
The Synopsis:
He’s thirty-eight. I’m twenty-three.
He speaks Spanish. I speak English.
He lives in Spain. I live in Canada.
He dresses in thousand-dollar suits. I’m covered in tattoos.
He’s married and has a five-year old daughter.
I’m single and can’t commit to anyone or anything.
Until now. Because when they say you can’t choose who you fall in love with, boy ain’t that the f*#king truth.
To a restless dreamer like Vera Miles, it sounded like the experience of a lifetime. Instead of spending her summer interning for her astronomy major, she would fly to Spain where she’d spend a few weeks teaching conversational English to businessmen and women, all while enjoying free room and board at an isolated resort. But while Vera expected to get a tan, meet new people and stuff herself with wine and paella, she never expected to fall in love.
Mateo Casalles is unlike anyone Vera has ever known, let alone anyone she’s usually attracted to. While Vera is a pierced and tatted free spirit with a love for music and freedom, Mateo is a successful businessman from Madrid, all sharp suits and cocky Latino charm. Yet, as the weeks go on, the two grow increasingly close and their relationship changes from purely platonic to something…more.
Something that makes Vera feel alive for the first time.
Something that can never, ever be.
Or so she thinks.

You know this sounds good. Trust me, read it, you will love it too! :)

Book #8:
Defending Jacob by William Landay
I started reading this book when I was moving and so all my crap was packed up and this was my only option. Oh man, I am so glad it was, because this book was amazing! Trust me when I say, you will be very surprised at the outcome!
The Synopsis:
Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.
Every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy. Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him. Andy must. He’s his father. But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, as a marriage threatens to crumble and the trial intensifies, as the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own—between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he’s tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive.

Ahhh, so good! I will be reading this one again too!

Book #9
A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs
This is my second favorite book by him. This one is about his relationship or rather non-relationship with his dad. It is sad and broke my heart all the way through, but it is reality and happens way more often than anyone realizes.

The Synopsis:
When Augusten Burroughs was small, his father was a shadowy presence in his life: a form on the stairs, a cough from the basement, a silent figure smoking a cigarette in the dark. As Augusten grew older, something sinister within his father began to unfurl. Something dark and secretive that could not be named.
Betrayal after shocking betrayal ensued, and Augusten’s childhood was over. The kind of father he wanted didn’t exist for him. This father was distant, aloof, uninterested…
And then the “games” began.

I truly would never wish this life on anyone, read it carefully it is a lot to take it. Especially if you have had a good life.

Book #10:
Life as I Blow it:Tales of Love, Life, and Sex... Not Necessarily in That Order by Sarah Colonna
I absolutely loved this book. It was funny, honest, and sarcastic. Sarah really made sure to put her all into this book about her life. She didn't pretend her life was great or that she didn't ever do anything wrong and I like that! I keep looking for more of her books, but I haven't seen any (though it is a good possibility I missed it or something, lol).

The Synopsis:
Sarah believes we all struggle to grow up. Sometimes we want to have fun, not take things too seriously, and have that fourth margarita. Other times we would like to get married, stay in, order Chinese food, and have a responsible, secure life.
From her formative years in small-town Arkansas to a later career of dates, drinks, and questionable day jobs, Colonna attempts to reconcile her responsible side with her fun-loving side. Sometimes this pans out, and sometimes she finds herself in Mexico handing out her phone number to anyone who calls her pretty. She moves to Los Angeles to pursue acting, but for years is forced to hone her bartending skills; she wants a serious boyfriend, but won’t give up nights at the bar with her friends. She tries to behave like an adult, but can’t seem to stop acting like a frat boy. In the end, she discovers that there doesn’t have to be just one or the other. And if there’s one thing Colonna has learned from her many missteps, it’s that hindsight is always 100 proof.

Oh yes, this is a good one! Read it, you will laugh your ass off! :)

Book #11:
Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala
I was given this book for my birthday in 2012. I was in a tough time in my life at that point and this book put some of that into perspective for me. When I read this book, I just emerged myself in it. I need to find more of Holly's books because she is a very talented writer!
The Synopsis:
Joy Delayer is suffocating. From asthma, from her parents, and from her boyfriend, Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out. She can take his cruel words, his tender words . . . until the night they go too far.
To escape, Joy sacrifices her suburban life to find the one who offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. He introduces her to a world of fierce loyalty, to its rules of survival, and to love—a world she won’t easily let go.

It is so worth the read. Beyond even.

Book #12:
The Texas Trilogy by Sandra Brown
This series is what gave me my love for romance novels, because Sandra Brown is so much more than just romance, she writes all kinds of books and it shows in all of her work.
The Synopsis:
The romantic adventures of Lucky, Chase, and Sage are bound into one volume, providing easy access to the entire epic saga of the Tyler Drilling company and the three strong-willed Tyler siblings.
Thanks to my mom for giving me this book when I was 16. It has stayed with me for 17 years now! And as soon as I can find a copy to buy, I will be doing so. But, I have had no luck so far. :(

Ok, there we go. All 12 of the books that I without a doubt call my favorites. They have all meant a great deal to me in one way or another.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!! :)

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