Strahbary's Fields

A California Girl's Place for all things Geek Chic

Top Ten Books I have Read So Far this Year June 10, 2014

Filed under: Top Ten Tuesdays — dianatierney3 @ 10:51 pm


It feels like 2014 just started. Just the other day I told the husband in conversation that we were just a few months into the year…he promptly corrected me.  So without much ado here are the top ten books I have read so far this year.

  1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone, books 1 through 3. I devoured these books within a few weeks so to me it feels like all one book but I absolutely loved them.  I got so invested in the characters and just HAD to know what happened next.
  2. I Shall be Near to You. I think this has made it into my all time favorite historical fiction books. Therefore, it has earned a well derserved spot on this list.
  3. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. I could not set this book down. With every page the mystery deepened and even though I had hundreds of things I needed to be doing at that moment, I needed to see what would happen on the next page.
  4. Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking. This was just such a great memoir of the history and life of a family in soviet Russia that resonated with today’s events.
  5. Where’d you go Bernadette? This is such a fun book with so many well developed characters.
  6. Dorothy Must Die. This is a surprisingly fun book that I am currently enjoying.
  7. Tomorrow there will be Apricots. The word that best describes this book is raw. It’s such a great book about accepting the family that we have and the family that you choose.
  8. Fangirl. A fresh coming of age story perfect for geeky girls.
  9. Bone Crossed #4 in the Mercy Thompson. I love this series. Every book gets better than the last.
  10. Drums of Autumn #4 in the Outlander series. I do believe this is my second favorite book in the Outlander series (the first being my favorite).

Want to play along? Check in with The Broke and the Bookish for details.


Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Would Like To See on Television May 26, 2014

Filed under: Top Ten Tuesdays,Uncategorized — dianatierney3 @ 10:54 pm
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With the season ending and so many of my favorite shows saying goodbye forever (Ie: How I Met Your Mother and Being Human) I thought I would use this Top Ten Freebie topic to explore my television series wishlist. So assuming that the series stays true to the story and I approve of the casting these are the shows that I would like to see made:

1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Ok, I have officially joined this fandom. I have read two and half of the books in the series within 2 week time span and am already halfway through book 3. This would make such a great television series. I already picture Sam Witwer as Akiva in my fantasy casting. Stay tuned, I will have more on my thoughts on this series later this week.

2.  Mercy Thompson Vampires, Werewolves and a kick ass heroine. So many wonderful casting options for this and so many juicy adventures that you could certainly make a great run of it.

3.  River of No Return. Just based on the first book there are so many adventures and so much that can be done with a television show with just this book.

4.  Parasol Protectorate. Seriously why isn’t this a television show yet? Victorian espionage in conjunction to Vampires and Werewolves would make an awesome television series. I still see Gerard Butler or my personal favorite, Henry Cavil, as Lord Maccon.

5.  1,001 Arabian Nights. This is the time for Hollywood to cash in on the fairytale retelling trend. So envision this with me, if you will, you have the main story of Shahrazad trying not to get her head cut off by the king by telling stories within the show, which of course would be great opportunities for some guest stars. And there are 1,001 stories and a thick main plot for audiences to sink their teeth into, it would give you at least 4 seasons.

6.  Thursday Next Series. This would make a fun tongue in cheek crime drama that I would actually watch and speaking of crime dramas…

7. The Chet and Bernie Mysteries. The books are told from the perspective of the dog, it would be fun to have a show narrated and told from the perspective of the dog. I don’t know how they would do it but at least the dog wouldn’t get killed in the first ten minutes.

8.  Neverwhere. Even though there is only one book unlike the others on this list, there is enough content for there to be a great television series off of the one show.

9.  The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club. The story of a woman having to start over in a sleepy little seaside village and finding success and renewed life through knitting. It would be a fun positive little show for lifetime or the Hallmark channel.

10.  Broken Heart. The premise of the books are like something made for the syfy channel. About a dozen people are attacked by a rabid disease infested Vampire and are then turned into Vampires as well, the town is then turned into a safe haven new community for vampires, werewolves and other supernatural creatures. Based in a lot of mythology with a fun twist these books would be so much fun on the screen. Likewise, it should be noted these books put 50 shades of grey to shame….yet one more reason why this would be great for Syfy.

Ok Hollywood, feel free to call anytime, I am free to write for the above shows….

So what books would you like to see be turned into a television series?

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by the Broke and the Bookish. Want to play along? Link up with them and then post a link back to their page on your blog.



Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Friendships May 20, 2014

Filed under: Top Ten Tuesdays — dianatierney3 @ 10:21 pm
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A strong friendship will shine through the darkest of times. That’s why for this week’s topic I couldn’t just focus on books about friendship. I had to use some of my favorite friendships along with some of the books that have friendship as it’s main focus….because let’s face it some friendships deserve books all their own.

1. Rosetta and Will in I Shall Be Near to You. I absolutely loved their friendship. A tender and understanding friendship Will and Rosetta were able to rely on eachother to keep their secrets and find some solace in a rough world. Will accepted Rosetta in a way that her husband couldn’t always do and Rosetta accepted Will for just what he was.

2. Cath and Reagan Fangirl. Cath helped to mellow out Reagan’s rough edges while Reagan helped pull Cath out her shell. They were two completely different people but their personalities really complimented eachother.

3.  Alexia and Ivy Parasol Protectorate Series Because every girl needs a loyal, slightly silly friend like Ivy in their life.

4. Every Character in The Beautiful Ruins. The book itself is not about friendship, however I can’t say that one friendship or relationship is better than another. It’s a beautiful book with some absolutely characters.

5.  Just about every character’s relationship with Liesel in The Book Thief. Liesel is easily the character that drives the story forward but she, the sweet little girl that she is, has wonderful friendships with her adoptive parents and all of the people around her, including the woman of the house where she likes to steal books from.

6. All of the characters within The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society The people of the Island of Guernsey are a group of friends that I would just love to be a part of. They clung together to survive the German occupation.

7.   Ocean at the End of the Lane. The friendship is central to the book’s plot, so if I talk at all about the friendship it will ruin the plot…so go read the book!

8.  Scout, Jem and Dill from To Kill a Mockingbird The three of them have the iconic childhood friendship.

9.  Iris and Clara from Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister This retelling done in a way that only Gregory Maguire (Author Of Wicked) can tell, is a great example of a friendship built between two stepsisters.

10. Nick and Gatsby from The Great Gatsby. Nick is a loyal friend to Gatsby all the way to the end.

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by the Broke and the Bookish. Want to play along? Link up with them and then post a link back to their page on your blog.



A to Z Blogging Challenge: Top Ten {Y}oung Adult Books April 29, 2014

Filed under: A to Z Blogging Challenge 2014,Top Ten Tuesdays — dianatierney3 @ 10:51 pm
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It’s no secret I am not a big fan of the Young Adult genre. I love books, I certainly have more books than shoes but when it comes to YA there are just so many that hit every single one of my buttons. However, there are those that are just make it beyond my barriers… and I fall in love.

1. The Mara Dyer Series. I had heard so many good things about these books that on a whim I decided to give them a try and I am so glad that I did. I find myself engrossed by the story and can’t wait to see what happens next.

2.  The Hunger Games. This is about as Young Adult as I typically get. I just really liked all three books. The characters were put into adult situations but were able to grow and change from them…not whine and carry on like a little kid.

3.  The Madman’s daughter. I really enjoyed this book, perhaps because it was partially about a retelling and mostly a historical fiction piece.

4.  Fangirl. A wonderful modern coming of age story .

5.  Gorgeous. Such a wonderful retelling of Cinderella. It gave me the warm fuzzies when I finished.

6.  My Life as a White Trash Zombie. a fantastic anti-hero and zombies. What is there not to love?

7. The Poison Study Series. I have such a hard time thinking of these books as Young Adult. I absolutely love these books.

8. The Harry Potter Series. Because well, it’s Harry Potter.

And that is about it for me. I have a few more on the list that I plan on reading within the young adult genre. Hopefully they will help this list to grow.

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. It’s a weekly feature that I enjoy doing here at Strahbary’s Fields. I am pretty happy that I was able to mash it up with the A to Z challenge.


Top Ten Bookish Bucket List Items March 24, 2014

Filed under: Top Ten Tuesdays — dianatierney3 @ 11:35 pm



Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten Bookish Bucket List Items. I love bucket list. The husband and I have had a bucket list for years that we have worked towards checking items off of it. The husband’s is a bit more extensive than mine. His has involved certain fish. One of his major ones was going to all of the habitable continents, one of mine was going to Macchu Picchu. When we got off the plane in Lima, Peru he said “Hey honey do you hear that?” I looked around and was like “No what is it?” He said “It’s the sound of an item falling off of my bucket list.”

When we were in Macchu Picchu I found a lovely little spot to look out over the valley, watch the tourists mill about, small birds fluttering about (probably eating all of the butterflies that should have been in the butterfly house…but I digress) and just meditated on the importance of where I was.


I don’t have many bookish bucket list items parse. There are two major ones that are bundled in with my overall bucket list. The first of which is reading all of the books on the Pulitzer Prize fiction list. There are approximately 85 books on the list, theoretically growing every year. Some years there are none awarded with the prize as was the case in 2012. so this will be a bucket list item I will continue with for the rest of my life. Where am I at? I have read 13 so far and am working on my 14th one (The Shipping News).

The other major Bookish Bucket List Item was to read all of the Shakespeare plays. I am about halfway there and getting ready to read “The play that must not be named” fairly soon.

So that’s it, that’s my Bookish Bucket list. There isn’t much there, probably because what is there is pretty hefty in and of itself. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. If you want to play along, post a link on their site to your blog and then post a link them from your blog.


Top Ten Popular Authors I Just Can’t Get Into March 3, 2014

Filed under: Top Ten Tuesdays — dianatierney3 @ 9:42 pm


Today’s Top Ten was supposed to be the Top Ten Popular Authors that I haven’t read yet but frankly I have such eclectic reading tastes that there really aren’t any that I haven’t. Also when they get to the really popular stage I will give a book of theirs a try simply to see what the big deal is about. Sometimes it works out and I find a new love….sometimes not so much….

1. and 2. Stephanie Meyer and E.L. James Well you know this was coming. I read books 1,2, and 4 of Twilight and the first 100 pages or so of 50 Shades of Grey. I Personally just didn’t like the writing styles. How much about what they eat for breakfast do I really need to know? And don’t even get me started on the characters…

3.  Janet Evanocvich. I just can’t get into her stories. I want to and I keep trying but I just can’t.

4.  Anne Rice. I love love love Interview with a Vampire but I just can’t get into her other books.

5. Gillian Flynn I tried reading Gone Girl but I really just didn’t like the characters. I verbally said “Ugh, I can’t deal with this” and then set the book down. I have yet to go back.

6.  John Grisham… The law is the premise of the book. Need I say more?

7.  Dan Brown the whole historical inaccuracy thing just gets to me every time.

8.  Sophie Kinsella Confessions of a Shopoholic was pretty good but I just can’t handle any of her other books.

9.  Emily Griffin I tried to read Something Blue, and I just didn’t like any of the characters.

10. Cassandra Claire. I wanted to like her books. I saw the panel at WonderCon last year featuring her and I thought hey I should check out her books. I read a sample and realized that yup, they weren’t for me.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. If you want to play along, post a link on their site to your blog and then post a link them from your blog.


Top Ten Book Club Recommendations February 25, 2014

Filed under: Top Ten Tuesdays — dianatierney3 @ 12:42 pm
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Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is a pick your own from a past top ten Tuesday so I decided that since I lead a book club and have been a part of book clubs I would choose the Top Ten Book Club Recommendations.

The qualifications for a good book club book is one that fits with the style of the club and has plenty of points to discuss. There have been a few times at a book club meeting where we were just dumbstruck about trying to talk about the book. So here are my ten books that I would recommend to for a book club.

1. I Shall Be Near to You: The book is a charming historical fiction with many talking points, from our main character heading out to the war dressed as a man to the well developed characters she encounters in her adventures.

2.  Longbourn: This take on the classic gives loads of comparing and contrasting talking points.

3.  The Last Chinese Chef: So many emotions in this book. So much culture clashing. My book club had a wonderful discussion over this book.

4.  Beautiful Ruins:  Again historical back drop, well developed characters and beautiful story. Great for sitting around a table with a bottle of wine.

5.  Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: If your book club is anything like my book club where we make recipes based on the books we read. This is a great book for you. A intriguing culture with great people to propel the story forward. The book even has an index of recipes in the back.

6.  Ocean at the End of Lane: I have had many a great discussion with a friend over this book. Now if only I can get those friends in the same room to discuss said book….

7.  The Forgotten Garden: Such a complex story with complicated characters which is a great spring board for discussions.

8.  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: there are so many talking points available in this book. Too many for me to list here.

9. A Visit from the Goon Squad: This intricate story line with a twisty and turny plot most certainly calls for a discussion session that requires chocolate and wine.

10. State of Wonder: Such a lovely story. A journey to an exotic location and a mystery makes for a very worthwhile discussion.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. If you want to play along, post a link on their site to your blog and then post a link them from your blog.