Top Ten Tuesday: My favorite websites that aren’t about books

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Image via The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, takes a break from books to discuss our favorite websites that have nothing to do with literature. We all spend our lives online nowadays, so it was difficult for me to limit this list to only ten sites when there are so many great sources for education and entertainment.

Below are some of my favorite websites that I visit regularly, with a short blurb of what makes them so awesome!

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1. Recipes: Pinterest

Ah, Pinterest. The go-to site for virtual hoarders everywhere. While I do have an account to publicize my blog, I primarily use it to store recipes that I’m interested in making. My Nom Noms board has a bunch of slow cooker ideas and my obsession with s’mores resulted in a separate board just for Desserts. As much as I love paper books, I don’t need them for cooking ever again!

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2. Killing time: BuzzFeed’s YouTube channel

BuzzFeed has dominated the artform of the listicle, but it’s their video team that’s really rocking it online. Whether it’s learning about other cultures or just watching people squeal over cute animals, this channel starts the vast majority of my YouTube black hole trips. And let’s face it, it’s all Eugene’s fault!

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3. Budgeting: You Need a Budget

On Black Friday of 2013, my life changed forever when I purchased You Need a Budget (YNAB). In less than three years since I began monitoring where all my money was going, I’ve managed to pay off all my student loans, buy and pay off my new Mazda3, save an emergency fund, and save for my two-week trip to Europe! YNAB has recently changed its business model to a subscription service, but I can’t think of a better way to spend $50 a year. I’m not paid by YNAB whatsoever, but I’m just so passionate about it, I recommend it constantly!

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4. Money: Financial Samurai

After you’ve become a YNAB pro and learned the basics of personal finance, check out the Financial Samurai to take your money skills to the next level. Blogger Sam abandoned Wall St. to retire early and now makes his living teaching people about entrepreneurship and wealth management. He’s a San Francisco resident with tons of knowledge of the tech industry, so I also appreciate his insight about Bay Area real estate and startup investing.

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5. Career: I Will Teach You to be Rich

Ramit Sethi, founder of I Will Teach You to be Rich, became famous in the personal finance industry for his book of the same name, which focused more on big money wins than cutting lattes. His “live rich” mantra has now expanded into an excellent platform for career advice, from job interviewing to building an online business. Much like Financial Samurai, Ramit has a no-BS, tough love personality that motivates his followers to reach their true potential.

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6. Long Form: Wait But Why

In a world where bite-size news prevails, Wait But Why is a breath of fresh air. Blogger Tim Urban doesn’t keep a regular posting schedule, but it’s worth waiting weeks or even months, because he delivers amazing long form articles about artificial intelligence, social behavior, and more. His profile on Elon Musk and TED Talk on procrastination have catapulted him into blogging stardom, but it’s his stick-figure illustrations that make him memorable.

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7. Entertainment: The Oatmeal

Matthew Inman is quite possibly the Internet’s coolest dude: his comics are crazy, colorful fun with a kickass sense of humor. He certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, since he doesn’t shy away from speaking about sexism, religion, and why cats are better than babies. But he’s also a huge geek who uses his success to do amazing things, like fund a Nikola Tesla museum and protect indoor kitties that go missing. Like many fans, I discovered his work through his comics about grammar, so it also goes without saying that he’s saving the world, one semicolon at a time!

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8. Women’s Rights: Jezebel

People who are close to me know that I’m a loud and proud feminist, so it’s no surprise that my favorite place to get my news is Jezebel. This Gawker Media online publication covers politics, celebrities, and culture with an unapologetic feminist POV, despite the trolling that spills over from the mouth-breaking MRAs (men’s rights activists) on other Gawker sites. And while Jezebel’s writers are talented, I come for the commenters. It’s like the Jezebel community has pulled together the wittiest women around the world, and I only wish we could all have a meetup in real life. Bay Area Jezzies, hit me up!

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9. Relationships: Dr. Nerdlove

How do you save geeks from turning into mouth-breathing MRAs, the kind of parasites that infest sites like Reddit and 4chan? You educate them on how to navigate social situations in regards to friendship and dating. Harris O’Malley, aka Dr. Nerdlove, cross-posts his advice column to Kotaku, Gawker Media’s site for gaming and his target audience. Men who are sexually unsuccessful with women grow to hate them, so Dr. Nerdlove is serving feminists everywhere by fighting misogyny at its source.

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10. Advice Column: Dear Coquette

I guess that you could say that I’m cheating with this category, since Dr. Nerdlove also has an advice column, but Dear Coquette’s entire claim to fame is answering the internet’s questions–with unparalleled bite. She tackles the tough stuff like suicide, drug use, and existential crises with empathy, but doesn’t coddle those with relationship or attitude problems. Browse through her best-of section and start worshipping this anonymous digital therapist.

Let me know if you love these websites as well, and feel free to give shout-outs to others that didn’t make my list!

Top Ten Tuesday: Childhood Characters I Would Love to Revisit as Adults

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Image via The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, a meme hosted by the The Broke and the Bookish, is all about checking in with our favorite literary characters from our childhood. It’s great when you’re a kid reading about other kids–often from magical places–but what would those characters’ lives be like when they’re all grown up?

I can only imagine all of the shout-outs to Harry Potter from other book bloggers, but I’ve purposefully left that series off my list. As much as I love Harry and friends, let’s make room for other awesome novels!

Kids Books

  1. Jonas from The Giver by Lois Lowry
  2. The Tuck family from Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
  3. The children from The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
  4. Artemis from the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
  5. Bartimaeus from the Bartimaeus series by Jonathan Stroud
  6. Lyra and Will from the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
  7. Addie and Meryl from The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
  8. Sophie and Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones
  9. The Baudelaires from A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  10. Harold from Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Top Ten Tuesday: Literature You Should Read If You Love Ancient Greece & Rome

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Image via The Broke and the Bookish

I know it’s Wednesday, but I couldn’t resist participating in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, even if it is belatedly! This meme, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is about literature every [blank] should read, inserting the blank for whatever our hearts desire. I was originally going to title this post, “Literature Every Classics Major Should Read,” but let’s face it, we already have!

As many of you might know, I majored in Pre- and Early-Modern Literature at University of California, Santa Cruz, and minored in Classical History. I am absolutely obsessed with ancient Greek and Roman texts and have read these epics, plays, and essays multiple times. But even if you never studied these in college, you can consider them the best starter course into this fascinating period of history.

This blog post is also perfect timing, considering that I only have one month left (!) before I’m traveling to Greece and Italy to walk the lands where these amazing philosophers, dramatists, and oral historians once lived! To say I’m excited is a huge understatement!

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  1. Iliad by Homer
  2. Odyssey by Homer
  3. Aeneid by Virgil
  4. Art of Love by Ovid
  5. Symposium by Plato (Be sure to watch “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” a theater production/film that has a song about this story!)
  6. Medea by Euripides
  7. Bacchae by Euripides
  8. Oresteia (Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, and Eumenides) by Aeschylus
  9. Three Theban Plays (Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone) by Sophocles
  10. Lysistrata by Aristophanes

(Side note: As a former scholar, I’m not a fan of using articles in these titles. If you want to sound sophisticated, refer to Homer’s Iliad rather than The Iliad by Homer. After all, it’s an epic that’s part of an oral tradition, not a novel!)

So are you interested in the tales of ancient Greece and Rome? Which of these have you read, and what did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Bloggers You Should Follow

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Image via The Broke and the Bookish

In this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, we’re giving shout-outs to other awesome book bloggers! After almost five years of blogging with today marking my 400th post (!!!), I have virtually met some amazing people in this community, and these ten ladies are at the top of my list!

Some are getting degrees in English or creative writing, others are working in lit as librarians or editors, but all of us are absolutely obsessed with reading! I highly recommend that you subscribe to their sites and follow them on social media!

  1. Alison at Hardcovers and Heroines
  2. Bridget at Dog-Eared and Dog-Tagged
  3. Stefani at Caught Read Handed
  4. Marsha at Book Club Cheerleader
  5. Alicia at A Kernel of Nonsense
  6. Sam at Taking on a World of Words
  7. Maren at The Worn Bookmark
  8. Stephanie at Stephanie’s Book Reviews
  9. Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies
  10. Cristina at Girl in the Pages

There are too many great book bloggers out there to list them all, but who else deserves a shout-out? Tag them in the comments!

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Congrats everybody! You rock!

Top Ten Tuesday: My Five-Star Reads

In this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, we’re sharing our latest five-star reads: the best of the best, la creme de la creme, our very own A-game! As luck would have it, in the five years that I have been blogging, I have only given a five-star rating to exactly ten books, out of 107 books total!

I’d say that less than 10% is reasonably selective, so if you’re searching for a perfect springtime read, make sure you pick up one of these!

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  1. 1984 by George Orwell
  2. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  3. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker
  4. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
  5. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  6. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Ed note: sequels not recommended, so read at your own risk!)
  7. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman
  8. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
  9. Bossypants by Tina Fey
  10. Yes Please by Amy Poehler

So which books would give five out of five stars? Share your top recommendations in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Love, But Other People Don’t

Image via The Broke and the Bookish

In this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, it’s all about the haters. Which literary characters do you love, but other readers don’t–or vice versa?

I think that this is a great topic, because I’ve always gravitated toward characters with an edge, whether they’re bad boys in romance novels or super villains in comic books. Nobody likes a goody-two-shoes, after all!

My top ten list features men, women, and the occasional dragon or anti-christ who have betrayed–even murdered–those closest to them. However, all in my mind have redeemable qualities and justifications for their actions. Call them awful, selfish, ruthless, or evil, but you certainly can’t call them one-dimensional!

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So-Called “Selfish” Women

1. Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. Edna Pontellier from The Awakening by Kate Chopin
3. Medea from Medea by Euripides

Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff (Image via Wikipedia)

Debatable “Leading” Men

4. Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
5. Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
6. Meursault from The Stranger by Albert Camus

The Malfoys with Bellatrix (Image via Harry Potter Wiki)

Villains Better Than Heroes

7. The Malfoys from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
8. Smaug from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
9. Lady Macbeth from Macbeth by William Shakespeare
10. Satan from Paradise Lost by John Milton

Top Ten Books When You Just Want to Laugh

Image by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, has us talking about moods. There’s a book for every emotion your heart desires: anger, sadness, and even fear (Side note: Why in the world do people like to feel terrified? I will never understand you, horror fans!)

So what should someone read if she just wants to laugh? Here is my list of my top ten funniest books–and if you can get them on audio, even better!

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Celebrity memoirs

  1. Tina Fey, Bossypants
  2. Amy Poehler, Yes Please
  3. Chelsea Handler, Uganda Be Kidding Me
  4. Mindy Kaling, Why Not Me?
  5. Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck

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Love, lunacy, and LOLs

  1. Jenny Lawson, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
  2. Alida Nugent, Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse
  3. Sophie Kinsella, I’ve Got Your Number
  4. Vicki Lewis Thompson, Talk Nerdy to Me
  5. Mallory Ortberg, Texts from Jane Eyre

So which books have you rolling on the floor laughing? Recommendations are always welcome!