Top Ten Tuesday: Back to School Freebie

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

What’s up everyone! I know you are all nursing that crick in your neck from looking up for so long at the solar eclipse yesterday afternoon but we are gonna come back down a little closer to home and talk about books again! We have another Top Ten Tuesday hosted by those awesome gals over at The Broke and the Bookish. Now last week we talked about ten book recommendations for students, more specifically required books while we were in school, since most schools are starting up right now. Well, we didn’t realize this week was a Back to School Freebie, so we are going to change it up just slightly this week. Our top ten books this week are going to comprise of books we think should be required to read in school.


My choices are definitely more geared towards high school students. I am thinking upperclassmen, and maybe even in to those entry level English classes you are required to take your freshman year of college. Most of these books are of the historical genre, but I think sometimes that is where we do our biggest growing. They deal with some rather tough topics, but it’s because of some of these books that I learned a little bit more about things completely outside of my world. Obviously some of these books might be a bit triggering for some students, but I think the lessons in these books and the worlds they show are so incredibly important for us. I think students would be even more set on the road of becoming better people by reading and really digging in to these books.

The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat | In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez | In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut Opdyke | A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness | Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys


My choices are also geared more towards high-schooler’s. While I wanted to include a few classics in here, I do feel like some more modern books were worthy of being a required read for a student. There are so many lessons that can be taught from these books and its not just about right and wrong. It’s life lessons that can affect you not only in your childhood but in your adult life. I think these books can help students understand how their choices can affect others and hopefully it helps them become better people.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak | One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus | The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot | The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom | The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Question: What are some books you think should be required to read by students?

Top Ten Tuesday: Best of 2017 So Far

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Happy Tuesday! It’s the last Tuesday of June which is nuts! Hope everyone has been having an amazing summer so far.

As we close out the month of June we are taking some time to look back at what we have read this year. There’s been some great books and some bummers, but really…it’s been a great reading year over at Midwestern Book Nerd. Lots of very enjoyable books which MIGHT make it tricky to keep it at 10, but we will try our best. Can’t wait to see what everyone else comes up with!

Here are our top 10 books of 2017 so far.


A Court of Wings and Ruins by Sarah J. Maas | Last Stand by Rachel E. Carter | Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo | Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton | The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi | The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh | Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake | Heartless by Marissa Meyer | Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine


Passenger by Alexandra Bracken | A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi | Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco | The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig | A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness | The Union by S Usher Evans | Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson | Geekerella by Ashley Poston | Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton | A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

QUESTION: What are some of the best books that you have read this year? Any crazy exciting ones in the future?


Who is joining us for #mdwstreadalong as we reread Harry Potter? Let us know if you are joining us and where you are at! Isn’t it fun to be back in our favorite world again?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books We’ve Recently Added

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Happy First Tuesday of June!! Can you believe we are finally in those summer months!? We hope you all have some awesome summer plans, even if they are as simple as relaxing with a book (something more people really need to do).

This week for Top Ten Tuesday we are talking about books we recently added to our TBRs. The actual prompt asks for a particular genre, but in actuality…we are mood readers, and this moodiness seems to transfer into when we add books to our list. We add books of ANY genre whenever they seem to sound good. Sometimes we go through particular genres, but most the time it’s at random and whatever we hear may be good. So instead of focusing on 1 genre, we are just picking what’s new on our lists (note, there may be genre trends. This is unintentional).

So…here are some books we have recently added to our TBR!


The Fairytale’s Daughter by Carolyn Swanson | The Cruel Prince by Holly Black | The Alice Network by Kate Quinn | Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts | Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco | Vicious by V.E. Schwab | Murder In Thrall by Anne Cleeland | Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao | The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg | 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger


In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen | We Were Strangers Once by Betsy Carter | The Address by Fiona Davis | Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate | Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller | With Malice by Eileen Cook | Lady of Sherwood by Molly Bilinski | Cage of Deciet by Jennifer Anne Davis | A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck | House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick

QUESTION: What books have you recently added to your TBR?

Top Ten Tuesday: The Rest of 2017…

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

It’s almost that time…IT’S ALMOST SUMMER TIME! Ok, well for those that are already on summer break…jealous. Many of us still have time left (come on Friday)! As we get past Memorial Day weekend we realize that it’s time. Time for summer reading, sunshine, beaches, pools, and any other summer activity that we can think of. It also means that we are about half way though the year. So many amazing books have already come out this year. So many books that have made us smile, squeal, cry, and sometimes throw them in the corner because we are a bit upset (only to pick them up and read on). But wait…it’s only the end of May. We still have MONTHS of 2017 releases to be excited for.

So what books are we here at Midwestern Book Nerd excited for?

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas (out 9/5/17)| The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo (out 9/26/17) | That Inevitable Victorian Thing by EK Johnston (out 10/3/17) | The Color Project by Sierra Abrams (out 7/18/17) | Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios (out 6/13/17)  | Warcross by Marie Lu (out 9/12/17) | Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo (out 8/29/17) | Before She Ignites by Jodie Meadows (out 9/12/17) | Into the Bright Unkown by Rae Carson (out 10/10/17) | Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C Dao (out 10/10/17) | Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman (out 11/7/17) | One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake (out 9/19/17)

QUESTION: What are some books you are looking forward to for the rest of this year that we should add to our lists?

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer Reads!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Can you believe it!? We are finally looking towards the BEST. SEASON. EVER! That’s right…it’s nearly SUMMER! Obviously some people are not huge fans, and I realize that it can get incredibly hot and you just want to sit in a cold pool and be done with it, but you have to admit…it is the best time to pick up a book. This week for Top Ten Tuesday we are giving you some of our PERSONAL recommendations for summer reading. These are books you could take anywhere with you to dive into, the ones that just scream carefree summer days. They may also be the kickoff to a series that you should just binge over the next 3 months. Everyone interprets summer reading a bit differently, but here are some of our recommendations for some summer book fun for you!


Scarlet by AC Gaughen | I’ll Meet You There by Heather DemetriosGeekerella by Ashley PostonThe Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons |The Black Mage book 1: First Year by Rachel E Carter | The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee AhdiehMy Lady Jane by Jodi Meadows, Brodi Ashton, and Cynthia HandVengeance Road by Erin BowmanThe Princess Bride by William Goldman | Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys


Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | The Martian by Andy Weir | Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes | The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi | The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor | The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald | Cinder by Marissa Meyer | Legend by Marie Lu | With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene B. Sledge | A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

QUESTION: What books would you recommend for some summer reading?

Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Love

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

We are always told to not judge a book by it’s cover. Think about it…some of the books that have covers that we aren’t the biggest fans of turn out to be some of the best books that we have read. But…let’s be real…we totally judge books by their covers. That doesn’t mean that we skip out on books with not so pretty covers, but the ones with those gorgeous covers are books that we are drawn to almost instantly.

This week on Top Ten Tuesday we are all about the book covers. Here at Midwestern Book Nerd we are going to show you some of our FAVORITE covers. This doesn’t mean that we find any books lesser because of the covers, but these ones just stick out as some of our favorites.


The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine | Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo | Heartless by Marissa Meyer | Red Rising by Pierce Brown | Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson | Splintered by A.G. Howard | Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard | Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi | Winter by Marissa Meyer | Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas


Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White | When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon | Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo | Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo |Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman | Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman | Iron Cast by Destiny Soria | Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco | All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven | Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

QUESTION: What are some of your favorite book covers?

Top Ten Tuesday: We won’t read that…

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Welcome back for another Top Ten Tuesday! This is definitely one of our favorite things to participate in and something we are constantly keeping up to date with. It’s so fun to list various things we like/dislike about books and what we are looking forward to. It’s also SUPER fun to talk to other book lovers, like yourself, about these things.

This week we are talking about things that we see (either in a synopsis, comparison, or while starting to read it) that instantly turn us off to a book. It could be something super small and stupid in the end, but sometimes that’s what ends it for us.

So, what are some things that make us not want to read a book?


  • Comparisons to Twilight. We did our time with Twilight. We loved it for awhile, now we don’t. Any Twilight comparisons really have us looking the other way.
  • Love Triangles. Sometimes we stick these out. Sometimes they are well written and make sense. But normally it’s a hard pass.
  • When a series goes on for too long. Too many books in the world, not enough time.
  • Blatant racism. There’s a difference between showing us what the issues are (or were in the case of some historical fictions) and being outright racist.
  • When something is said to be the next Harry Potter. THERE IS ONLY ONE HARRY POTTER!
  • Books in a series just repeat the same and the characters don’t grow. We want to see some depth and see a character learn and grow as the series goes on.
  • The cliche hot boy…calling a guy hot and he has no other redeeming quality. We want to read about a guy who can do more than just look good.
  • Comparisons to The Hunger Games. We love dystopian type novels but the ones compared to the Hunger Games never really live up to expectations.


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QUESTION: What are some things that make you not want to read a book?

Top Ten Tuesday: Stories we will instantly need

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

We all know those stories…the ones we are instantly drawn to because of one element. The setting, character, or something particular about the plot just calls to us and we know that we need to read that book instantly. Yes, I know you are thinking of books that fall into this category as we speak and the different things that draw you to them. This week for Top Ten Tuesday we are listing some of those qualities that make us instantly drawn to a book.

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We will more than likely instantly need a book if…

  • it’s a fairy-tale retelling, or even loosely based on a fairytale.
  • the damsel in distress isn’t really in distress and she’s actually a badass.
  • the chosen one isn’t actually the chosen one but are still pretty important.
  • the book is bound to make the reader shed some tears.
  • the book deals with grief.
  • the heroine finds out she has magical abilities.
  • the heroine finds out she has a pretty stellar family situation (royalty) and she just can’t seem to remember.
  • it’s a book based on Jane Austen.
  • it’s a book based off of Robin Hood.
  • it’s recommended for fans of Harry Potter (this does not always go so well).
  • it’s promised to make us swoon.
  • it’s based on WWII era stories.
  • it’s a book loosely based off history.
  • it’s a book based in medieval times.

QUESTION: What are some things that will make you instantly pick up a book?

Top Ten Tuesday: The Most Unique Books We’ve Read

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This Top Ten Tuesday is talking about unique books that we have read. Talking about unique books is tricky. Obviously we may select some books that we find to be unique and you may be reading this and shaking your head because you think the opposite. So, before we dive into it we should probably talk about WHY these books are unique.

We selected these unique books for one or more of the following reasons: it’s fresh take on a historical topic done in a way we hardly ever see, the collaboration of the authors, it’s the first book of a particular genre we have read, it has a super unique writing style, the book is literally a bunch of documents that make up a crazy file that you get super invested it, or the book tackles a tough subject that just really hit you. These are just SOME of the unique books we have read, but the ones that came to mind first. So…here are 10 unique books that we at Midwestern Book Nerd have read.

Book Thief by Markus Zusak | My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows | Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein | The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins | The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank | Illuminae series by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi | In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Survivor by Irene Gut Opdyke | The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley | Wonder by R.J. Palacio

QUESTION: What are some unique books you have read (because we want to read them too!)? What of these books have you read?

Top Ten Tuesday: Things we are BIG fans of

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Welcome back for another Top Ten Tuesday! This week everyone is talking about fandoms that they are a part of. Honestly…we don’t feel like we totally belong to a fandom. We fangirl over things, yes. But we don’t seem to get as deeply involved as many other people do. It’s totally cool if you are in a fandom. We here have nothing against it at all. We, however, don’t feel as immersed as you all get. There has to be varying degrees of fandom right? Well we are the type that LOVE these things, but don’t take it much further than that. So…here are 10 things that we are major fans of..

HARRY POTTER harry-potter

DISNEY MOVIES e1df0d32-2e79-4ab9-aef4-6df7946148a7

THE HUNGER GAMES 1db10593-3a46-4db0-8e24-1d0e55216770

SUPERHEROES (SHOWS AND MOVIES) 0d2422fc1530dba4f818a4fa5a9be2c5c968c0bdb72ed33bd3392aea0e3dc7fc

FAIRY TALE RETELLINGS cover-set-2-1024x253



SCRUBS  cc2f4e4977a3b1c91239e33f0c4f878f

GAME OF THRONES game-of-thrones-power-ranking

MINNESOTA chandleroleary_minnesota_2

Obviously we could keep listing things for you, but we will stop at 10. Don’t think you know all that we fangirl over just based off of this list 😉 Feel free to ask us more!

QUESTION: Are you a part of any fandom? Or are you just more casual fangirls like us?