Show and Tell

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I have way too many favorite books. I think this is a given for every bookworm out there. We all wish we could show every single one of them, but I figured that might probably not work out so well. That's kind of how this fun little feature came out. Show and Tell is a place where I would share some of my favorites, one at a time. To make it even more fun, I asked some of my friends and fellow book bloggers to join me!

idea inspired by bleubirdvintage


Kobe and I will go first..

1. Kobe
1year and 6month Maltese (named after Kobe Bryant of the L.A. Lakers)
Pick: Talking Dogs
- First of all, just in case you were wondering, I already have an appointment to the groomers this week, so all this extra fuzzy hair is going to be gone soon and I will be extra cute.. err... manly, again. My favorite book is 'Talking Dogs' because well... it's about dogs! It's filled with pictures of dogs sleeping, playing, romping, and all that fun stuff. For some reason, when I look at their photos, I always feel like I really, really want to go run around at the park. Maybe play with some German Shepherds.. because y'know, I'm a big dog like that.

2. Jillian @ Random Ramblings
Pick: The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
- Anytime someone asks me to recommend one book to them, this is the one that always comes first to mind. I can't help it; This was simply a wonderfully written novel. To me, it is one of the most unforgettable stories I’ve read in a while. And despite the fact that it is incredibly heartbreaking, I honestly don't think it would have had the same impact that it had if it was done differently. The message that came along with it, was subtle yet strong. It was heart wrenching, yet also strangely uplifting at the same time. It made me not only think, but really feel and empathize with these characters. And speaking of the characters,I've grown to love each of them -- felt attached too, even.
Even after I finished this, and I was off reading another book, I would still find myself thinking about the characters and their stories. And it's not that often that we get to find characters like that -- the ones that are able to leave that kind of a mark or imprints on us.
The Book Thief is just everything a good book should be; original, engaging, inspiring, uplifting, and haunting all at the same time. With wonderful writing, unique narratives, memorable quotes, and the most lovable and unforgettable characters, one thing's for sure, this book is nothing less than amazing.

3. Melissa F
Pick: The Diving Bell and The Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
The Diving Bell And The Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby is one of the utmost heroic and inspirational books I've read. The author himself writes about his feelings, thoughts and dreams while suffering from locked-in syndrome in result of a stroke to the brain stem. In other words, his thought process was 100% normal, but he was physically incapabe to do anything besides blink his left eye. This read shows such an amazing accomplishment and will automatically make you fall back in love with life and be reacquainted with a better appreciation of everything you have. Yes- everything!!! It's definitely one that should be critiqued by the powerful message it sends moreso than the overall content of the book. From front to back, chapter by chapter- you can experience the super human effort he put into this. Every time I feel discouraged or incompetent, this story will always be a reminder that anything is possible and the sky is the limit.

4. Jill @ HeythereJillilah
Pick: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
- This is one of the latest books I've read that made me cry. I loved this book because it used an unusual way of storytelling for a novel. I love how literally graphic it is to show the emotions of the different characters.
It's also not hard falling in love and being attached to the character Oskar Schell like all the other characters in the book. You want to take care of him, make sure he's safe, be with him until he's okay. At the end of of the book, when I was bawling my eyes out, I didn't want it to end because I want to make sure that he'd be completely happy someday.
After reading this book, I swore to myself my son will be as smart as Oskar. :) and would use big words in replacement for curses.

5. Justine @ Justine-Dolorfino
Pick: A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith
What I like about this book is that everything about it is beautifully simple; the characters feel real, the prose gets the job done without being baroque, and the storyline never feels forced. Despite the simplicity of the novel, though, Smith makes you care so much about the Nolans and Rommelys, flaws and all, and it's because of them that the book has become one that I frequently reread. I love spending time with the characters and every time is genuinely like the first read: I always hope that the tragic events don't happen and am always crushed when I remember just how the book goes. Not that this book is a downer; it certainly isn't and it always leaves me with a smile and faith in life. Now that I live in NYC (although I don't live in Brooklyn) as well and feel as though I'm on the verge of beginning what we recent graduates like to call "real life," this coming-of-age story speaks to me more than ever.

6. Sarah @ Book Reviews from Inside An Igloo
Pick: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Is it really a shocker? I think the main reason this one resonates so well with me is primarily because; I'm all for strong women! All my life (up until a few years ago) I was a shy, awkward looking, skinny, short girl. Not to say I was an outcast, I had many friends but I was shy and much more comfortable with a good book then going to a raging kegger. Well in fourth grade, I did something totally out of character; I joined my elementary school's wrestling team. At first I was awkward... and well, shy. And as soon as I got a girl down on the mat I would just sit on her, but eventually I got better and when I hit 7th grade I was already a national champion. Now before I digress too far let me explain why I joined wrestling. In fourth grade, I was around 34 pounds and was tired of everyone telling me "good things come in small packages." I didn't want to be underestimated my whole life. I wanted to prove I could do what everyone thought I couldn't. My dad always taught my sister and I that we can be classy and girly but ALWAYS be tough and not to be afraid to conquer the path less traveled. And this is why I LOVE The Hunger Games. Katniss is strong yet fragile, harsh yet loving, and a kickass (sorry for my French) character but most importantly, she is willing to tackle any task no matter what its size. We need more female characters like her in YA books. You go girl!

7. Danny @ Bewitched Bookworms
Pick: Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
- When Jillian asked me if I want to be part of her newest feature, I was thrilled and agreed right away. I knew immediately which book to pick: Twilight. I'm 31 and I fell in love with Twilight
like no other book before and it's not because it's the best written book, no it's more! I fell in love with the incredible love story, finding your soul mate and then doing everything to protect the love of your life. That is Twilight for me. But apart from this, Twilight also brought so much more in my life. Because of these books, I started blogging and found friends across the world, who share the passion for these books with me. Going even further, with Twilight I found the love of reading again. I always loved to read, but now I started picking books I never looked at before. Which again, is also why I'm now here, in the BookBlog community after I started the Bewitched Bookworms. You see the circle? Reading, Blogging, new Friends, all that due to the love for a book!

8. Mary @ The Sweet Bookshelf
Pick: These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner
- There are no words. The minute I finished this book I sat full of tears running down my face at this amazing story. It is beautiful, heart-wrenching, moving, exciting, and unforgettable. Sarah must be my favorite heroine to date. She is so strong, smart, loving, and fearless. Bravo to author Nancy Turner. I have never felt so connected to a story and character in all my life. Brilliant. The story is one I will never forget as long as I live. I felt as if I was there with Sarah on her journey and felt like she was/is my friend. This is why I love reading. You will never be lonely as long as you have a good book.
Oh, and I'm in love with Jack.

9. Melissa @ i swim for oceans
Pick: Mennyms in the Wilderness by Sylvia Waugh
- I remember when my mum bought me this book, I must have been around 10 years old, and she knew I had a penchant for fantasy stories. She wanted to get me something different and out of the ordinary, so she bought me the Mennyms in the Wilderness by Sylvia Waugh. It's the story of a family of life-sized rag-dolls that are actually alive. It's vivid, and fun, and fast-paced, and while it may not be everyone's cup of tea, I still read it over and over again to this day. There's also something so beautiful about the gilded cover...this is truly a classic to me! :)

10. Naida @ The Bookworm
Pick: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
- 'In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.' -- A favorite book of mine is J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Hobbit'. When I first read it, I fell in love with it. I like the journey Bilbo Baggins takes, he leaves the comfort of his little hobbit home and heads out into the world. Bilbo finds adventure and danger and as you read, you hope he returns home safe and sound. Its one of those stories that both children and adults will enjoy. It's a classic and The Hobbit is a book that I can re-read and not tire of.
After reading The Hobbit I do recommend reading Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, which is also fantastic. The Hobbit is a prequel to the LOTR.

11. Juju @ Tales of Whimsy
Pick: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
- I know what you're thinking, Wuthering Heights, really? It is the classic some people love to hate. But I think it has it all; love, deceit, mystery, and even an angry restless ghost. For me it is a testament to how people hurt and why people hurt each other. Rich in human emotions and fallacies, it reminds the reader that if you are not careful - it is the ones you love that you will ultimately hurt the most. A truly spellbinding classic.

12. Kim @ Queen Bee
Pick: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
- The Count of Monte Cristo may seem like a simple tale of adventure, intrigue, love, passion, and witty social satire, but it is layered with deeper meanings . . . man's relationship to God and one another, greed, pain, suffering, justice and revenge, and the ability to forgive. Dumas was able to grasp human nature and share it with delightful quick wit.
Edmond extracts his revenge, pound for pound, from his malefactors, only to wonder if he truly has done God's will. My thoughts from the ending -- There must be opposition in all things . . . one cannot experience true joy until they have felt the consumption of deep sorrow. "This too shall pass." Or as the Count says, "wait and hope". The 1,243 pages could seem daunting but from other reviews from Amazon, I was informed that any other abridged version would pale significantly. I can only guess that is true. This version (Penguin Classic) is said to be more fluid, easier to read. How wonderful it is to enjoy a book and its characters so much that you find yourself hurriedly completing the daily hum-drums and necessities so you can return to its pages. This is a classic I would dearly love to read again and again, but you did see the number of pages, right? Someday I will visit The Count again."

13. DS @ third-storey window
Pick: Selected Poems and Three Plays of William Butler Yeats, third edition, edited by M.L. Rosenthal
- Its spine is cracked, its pages dog-eared, there are underlinings and markings all over the place. Many of the poems have been committed to memory. It is the book that ended my fear of poetry as recreational reading as opposed to an object of study. It has calmed and comforted, amused and provoked me for--gulp!--a quarter of a century. This is how I found it:
My first job was in the promotional department of an academic press. As I'd been a literature major, the gist of the books they published was beyond me; much of my work was proofreading tables of contents for appearance in flyers because the books were compiled from papers presented at conferences. Such as one I was sent to in Washington, D.C. The trade show portion was for the Friday, so I arrived late Thursday to set up. That did not take very long, as it was a small conference and my boss had sent only a few items for display (had it been larger, or more important, my boss would have gone). After Friday I was to pack everything up and ship it back "home." Mr.L-S was coming down then and we were spending the weekend with friends who lived in the area. For Thursday evening, I was on my own. I left the hotel in search of fresh air and dinner. A walk of a few blocks found me in heaven: a large, rambly bookstore, with a cafe !! Unheard of at the time (this was long before chain bookstores and coffee companies combined to convince American readers that no book could be read without a fancy caffeinated beverage to hand). I wallowed through the tables piled high with books and shelves stacked to the rafters, finally, reluctantly, settling on two: a novel, and Mr. Yeats, about whom I knew very little. Intellectually fortified, I then went upstairs to the cafe to have dinner. And I sat, through a spinach omelet and several cups of tea, absorbing the cadence of an Irishman obsessed with his country, mythology, the state of the world, until closing time. I had read the book straight through. Back in my hotel room, I read it through again.
And so it has been ever since. Whenever the world becomes too much, whenever life's circumstances bring confusion, I turn to Mr. Yeats (others also, now). He sings, and something within me responds: "I hear it in the deep heart's core."

14. Amelia @ Imagination in Focus
The Greatest Series. Ever. A Fantasy. An Adventure. A coming-of-age story. Romance. Scary, evil villains bent on total destruction. Wisecracking sidekicks. A boy and a girl searching for more in life, who discover themselves... and each other. Beautiful prose from one of the greatest Young Adult writers of all time.
If ever there was a series I could recommend, I pick this one. Seriously, I wish I could grab everybody by the shoulders and shake them and say, "You must read these, all lovers of young adult fiction!" This series is a classic. Contemporary authors Clare Dunkle (The Hollow Kingdom) and Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver) are just a few of Prydain's numerous fans. Give these a try!

15. Stephanie @ StephTheBookworm
Pick: Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster
- Jen Lancaster is pee-in-your-pants funny - though I promise I've never peed in my pants while reading her booksr. Bitter Is The New Black is the first of her memoirs, though her fifth one is soon being released. She is snarky, ridiculous, shameless, and coins brilliant words such as "asshat." I recommend her to everyone I know. Plus, she started as a blogger! Will you be deeply moved if you read Jen's books? Absolutely not. But you will laugh. A lot.

16. Heather @ Bewitched Bookworms and Call of Duty Widow
Pick: Kay Scarpetta Medical Examiner Series by Patricia Cornwell
- My favorite book is actually a whole series of books. I'm holding book seventeen in my photo. Throughout college and graduate school, there wasn't much time to read anything other than text books. When I graduated and found myself with a long train commute to and from work everyday, I started reading for fun again. These books were the first ones that really sucked me into their world and I devoured book after book until I was done. The books in this series have everything: mystery, a little romance, forensics, crime, passion. Over the course of seventeen books the characters have grown and changed, for better or for worse.

Wo0hoo that's it for this blog's very first 'Show and Tell!' This was honestly sooo much fun to do!! I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I did.
If you would like to participate and be featured for the next 'Show and Tell', you are more than welcome! All you have to do is send me a picture of you holding one of your favorite books, with a short blurb telling us why you love it so much. Send all entries to: If you have any questions before sending, just ask and I'll try to reply asap. Looking forward to hearing from you! :)


  1. hahahahaha talagang kasama si Kobe! Adorable dog! Can I meet him someday? :)

  2. oh wow, what a fun post! Kobe is too cute!
    Everyone looks so nice and I look like a meanie! lmbo :)

    1. Grest pick Kobe! The Book Thief is my favorite book of all time and I just saw the movie. Amazing!

  3. Oh my goodness!!! Two bookworms in this post! How cute! And, Heather, the blogger your next to has Bitter is the New Black! How funny is that, since you just gave me that series! Great post!

  4. This is SOOO much fun!! What a cute idea! Love it!!

  5. Such an amazing list! Love this idea. The book that I keep recommending to all my friends is "THE SHADOW OF THE WIND" by Carlos Luis Zafon, it's a mystery coming of age story, everybody seems to love it regardless of sex or age.

  6. Thanks so much Jillian!! This was such a fun post! I love all the work you put into this!!

    Thanks again :)

  7. This turned out adorable! Thank you so much for the opportunity :)

  8. I loved seeing some of my favorite bloggers :) Amelia, Mary, Melissa, & Steph.

    Way cute :)

  9. +JMJ+

    I recall that you asked me to take part and I had to decline because my family didn't have a digital camera. Well, I no longer have any excuse! =P I mean, if I can post vlogs, I can send pictures, right? LOL!

  10. Well, I've added several books to the list thanks to this post. Thank you for letting me participate (but I rambled way too long). It was great fun reading everyone else's reasons for picking their books!! Great job, Jillian!

  11. This post was amazing! Thanks for doing it!

  12. Great idea -- many books I haven't heard of. "These is my Words" was my 2nd favorite book last year that I told everyone about. Why are so many cool characters named Jack? (queen bee)

  13. @Jill: Muka na ngang yagit kasi matagal ng hindi nagroogroom! Haha. :) Loved your shirt and the lipstick in the pic btw! And thankyouthankyou for participating!

    @naida: Haha, Kobe would be very happy to hear that you think he's cute. Thank you again for participating! :)

    @One Pushy Fox: Thanks, glad you liked it! Feel free to submit yours for next time? ;)

    @Mary: Yes it was fun for me to compile everything too! Thank you again for joining us!

    @Life After Jane: Thank you! I am trying to decide if I should keep it up.. depends if people are interested though!

    @emilyandherlittlepinknotes: Thanks, and yes, I read that book and I have to agree with you, it truly is a great read!

    @Sarah: Thank you for participating! This was a lot of fun to do :) And I really loooveedd your 'wrestling story.' It's totally Katniss-like!

    @Juju: Thank you also for participating! Ooo0hh all of the people I asked to participate here are just a few of my favorite bloggers as well :)

    @ds: I know, me too! My TBR list just keeps on growing. And I was reading your blurb, and trying to see where I could cut it, but I really liked it and didn't want to take out anything! I know I've said this before, but you're such a great writer, ds! Very good with details most especially :)
    And thank you for participating, of course.

    @Letter4no1: Thank you I am glad you like it! I had a lot of fun doing this. Maybe we can see you for the next 'Show and Tell' if you're interested? ;)

    @Kim: Thanks so much for participating, Kim!
    Oh and Jack... now that you said that, I'm thinking of books (and even movies!) with cool characters named Jack.. Hmmm...

  14. Way too late to comment but I adore this feature! Two reasons, first I love looking at the pretty girls and I love to heat their stories!

    @Sarah: I especially loved reading your story about why you love the Hunger Games! I love honesty and thanks for sharing this!

    Please, Please please Jillian keep this feature up and go on with it!!

  15. What a neat feature! I know I have tons of favorite books. I absolutely loved The Book Thief.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  16. @Mrs. Vanquish: Thanks, Danny! And of course, for participating. It was great having you!
    So far there's been 3 'Show and Tell' entries already!! So I'm definitely going to keep this up :)

    @Anna: Thank you, and I am so glad to hear you also loved The Book Thief. Amazing, isn't it?

  17. what a wonderful post! love seeing the pictures and the choices :) thanks for posting this and looking forward to seeing more!

  18. @E! I don't know why I skipped your comment! Sorry..
    Anyway, yes! Please do email me your picture and blurb anytime, if you'd like ;)

    @christa: Thank you! I enjoyed posting this and reading all the entries.

  19. Ack, I'm so behind in emails- but this is such a great feature, Jillian! It's incredibly awesome since not only do I get to see some recommendations, but it also helps connect with the book blogosphere as a whole. I'm looking forward to more Show and Tell posts (and maybe I'll email you an entry when I have some time, haha!) :D