Top Ten Tuesday- Favorite Classics

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

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Hello There! I hope you’re having a great summer so far. Mine has been busy…but I’m never too busy to list my favorite classic novels (the subject of this week’s TTT, though, you know, I’d be happy to list them for you anyway as long as you ask nicely).

Let’s get to it! I’m not entirely sure what constitutes a classic. Surely Harry Potter and The Princess Diaries will be considered classics at some point, but for today I’m focusing on old books. Like, really old. Or at least oldish.

 

To Kill a Mockingbird1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee– Two words: Atticus Finch. Only the greatest literary hero every written. Boom. I said it.

Guys, I love this book so much I named my dog Boo Radley.

“Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

 

JaneEyre2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte– Only the most kick-ass feminist in a non in-your-face way. She got to be independent AND fall in love, and this girl was not ashamed of who she was.

“Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal — as we are!”

 

 

EmmaBook3. Emma by Jane Austen– So cute, so charming. I love this story. It’s the JA version of When Harry Met Sally. Sort of.

“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.”

 

P&P4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen– The world loves this book…with good reason. I like Mr. Darcy, as all women do, but I love Elizabeth Bennett, sassy, and opinionated, a girl who refuses to marry for money or be treated like she deserves scorn for being poor. You go Lizzie!

“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”

 

Persuasion5. Persuasion by Jane Austen– THE LETTER AT THE END OF THE BOOK. OMG. Captain Wentworth, I love you.

“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you.”

I KNOW!!!!

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory6. Charlie & The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl– The ultimate childhood fantasy. I’ve read it too many times to count.

“However small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance was there.”

 

lion, witch, wardrobe7.  The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis- I favor The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, but The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe is about as magical and perfect as any book can be.

“All shall be done, but it may be harder than you think.”

Age of Innocence 8. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton– I hated so many of the characters, but what a picture of society and what it was like to live to clamor to reach another rung on the ladder, or to be one the gossips live to discuss and look down their nose at.

“Everything may be labelled- but everybody is not.”

Charlotte's Web9. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White– Maybe I’m sentimental because I’ve read it with both my kids, but I think this book is a wonderful image of friendship and of loving people who are different from us.

“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.”

Count of Monte Cristo10. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas– A tale of revenge that is painstakingly plotted and beautifully executed.

“How did I escape? With difficulty. How did I plan this moment? With pleasure. ”

 

The Great Gatsby11. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald– While I’ll never get what Daisy saw in Gatsby or the other way around, this is a lush book, a snapshot of an interesting time in our history. It’s a classic for a reason.

“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”

 

That’s all for now (though I’m sure I’m forgetting many more). Happy Tuesday!

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Top Ten Tuesday- Best Books So Far This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

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This week we are discussing our favorite books we’ve read in 2014…so far. Big problem for me since I’ve probably spent more time re-reading books this year than I have reading new books. And honestly, there have been few that have blown me away. Here are a few that i really, really enjoyed:

 

We were Liars1. We Were Liars By e. Lockhart- I am a huge Lockhart fan. This is different for her, but I loved it. It stayed with me for days. And yeah, the big secret may not be a shocker, but the way she tells the story and conveys the pain is so good it doesn’t matter.

 

Better off friends2. Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg- Books don’t get cuter than this one.

 

Ignite Me3. Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi- Good lord, the steam. I love Warner. Love him. Though this is the end of the series, it feel like the beginning of so much more.

 

these broken stars4. These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman and Meagan Spooner- A sci-fi, a Titanic vibe, a rock-solid romance and a strange, spooky twist.

 

More Than This5. More Than This by Patrick Ness- Melancholy and odd, Ness never, ever fails to disappoint. His worlds are painful and strange, but the characters are so human, so much like ourselves, it’s impossible not to relate.

 

What I thought Was true6. What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick- The epitome of a summer book. Good story, sweet romance, but substance as well.

 

Biggest flirts7. Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols- This one was cute and highly addictive. Is it life changing? No. But it’s not meant to be. It’s fun and I couldn’t put it down.

 

Scandal8. #scandal by Sarah Ockler- Different than her other books, but compelling and fun. I loved the cast of characters and how timely it is that they struggle with the weight of stupid decisions made in the spotlight of social media.

 

husbands secret9. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty- This was a book club pick, Adult fic at its finest. I really enjoyed it. The epilogue is the best part.

 

That’s all for now. Have a great Tuesday!

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday- Books For Your Beach Bag

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

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This week we are chatting up summer reads. Personally, I think a good book is good any time, but there is something about a cute, happy story, or a book with a good romance, that just SCREAMS summer. Plus, you need something to do at the beach other than pretending to be busy when you’re actually people watching (am I the only one who does this?).

beach sign

Here are a few I’d recommend:

The Princess Diaries1. The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot- Let’s get the obvious one out of the way, shall we? But really, these books are funny, unbelievably cute, and you can read them in a single sitting. And then you’ll want to contact me and be like, OMG I get it now! I look like I swallowed a sock (see? You had to be there).

Summer I Turned Pretty2. The Summer series by Jenny Han– Well, duh. The name says it all. These books are perfect because they each take place over the course of the summers that Belly (trust me, you’ll get past the name) spends at the family beach house of Conrad and Jeremiah Fisher. These are the boys she’s loved all her life, in the house she’s grown up visiting every summer. When she turns fifteen both boys begin to see her as something other than a kid sister (she’s not their sister, because that would be gross). Also, I dare you not to love Conrad Fisher. He’s a little douchy at first, but trust me. You’ll fall for him slowly.

We were Liars3. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart– I loved this book. The review is still to come. It takes place on a private island owned by the Sinclair family. Yes, they are THAT filthy, stinking rich. But with that money, with that privileged family, comes sadness, and love, and an interesting twist.

 

Better off friends4. Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg– This book does not take place over the summer, nor is it set on a beach. But it’s being described as a YA When Harry Met Sally. Two best friends who fall in love. What could be cuter than that?

What I thought Was true5.  What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick– Definitely a summer book. This one takes place in a small seaside town. There’s a rich vs. poor element, there are family secrets and a protagonist with a past, and there’s a great love story. Fitzpatrick is particularly gifted at writing authentic love stories. Don’t miss this one.

My Life Next Door6. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick– While you’re at it, don’t miss her debut novel either. It’s pretty perfect as summer love stories go.

Book of Broken Hearts7. The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler– I loved this book. It is heartbreaking in many ways, but there is a beautiful love story here. There’s also a sweet romance, but at the heart of it is a story about a girl’s love for her ailing father.

the truth about forever8. Anything by Sarah Dessen- My personal favs will always be The Truth About Forever and This Lullaby, but you could probably pick any one and be happy. Her books are the essence of summer: good heroines and swoony guys, all set in a small town. She doesn’t shy away from issues, but she always leaves you feeling hopeful in the end.

Biggest flirts9. Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols– Oh, this one is cute and sexy and funny. I haven’t read all of her books, but this is by far the one I’ve enjoyed most. And I really, really love the two main characters. They have good chemistry and their banter is so cute that I kept finding myself with a big, stupid grin on my face.

This is What Happy Looks Like10. This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith– Adorable. A. DOR. A. BLE. Just read it.

 

What’s Going in MY Beach Bag?

To All the BoysTo All The Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han– I haven’t read this and must rectify this immediately because Jenny Han is a YA goddess.

Scandal#Scandal by Sarah Ockler– Ditto. I always love her books. She is a fantastic writer. And the premise is so timely (a girl gets caught kissing her BFF’s boyfriend and her life goes haywire thanks to social media).

Gods and MonstersDreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor– I hate saying goodbye. Sniff. This is an amazing series. I’m so sad it’s over.

ChampionChampion by Marie Lu– We’ve owned this for about fifty years, but I can’t bring myself to move on. I am so bad at leaving a series I love behind.

The OneThe One by Kiera Cass– Yeah, what I said about the last two books.

 

Have a great Tuesday and Happy Reading!

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday- Reasons Michael Moscovitz is the Fake Man of My Dreams

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

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It’s been a while since I’ve participated, I know. But this week is a freebie topic, so what better time to discuss my favorite book boyfriend ever (though there are many I love) than today?

Michael Moscovitz of The Princess Diaries series is hands down my ultimate book boyfriend and no one, outside of my hubby, will ever compare. In fact, I have a confession to make: when I read articles or reviews where other women profess their undying love for him I giggle and agree with them, but in my head I think he belongs to me alone. Because he does.

I can’t believe I just admitted that…moving on.

So let’s get to it. Be warned, if you have not finished this series, there are many spoilers here.

TOP TEN REASONS MICHAEL MOSCOVITZ IS THE FAKE MAN OF MY DREAMS

 

Talk nerdy to me1.He’s smart– In the early books, as we get to know Michael, we find out that he’s a genius. He’s in the computer club, he tutors Mia in Algebra, he makes her a Segway Human Transporter, and later, he goes to Japan to work on a robotic arm. The one he invented, because he’s the smartest boy in the world.  And we all know that smart= supremely hot.

 

2. He’s in a band- Though they eventually part ways because of college and other issues, Michael is in a band where he plays guitar and writes his own music. He even kind of flirts with Mia before they’re going out and tries to hint that he likes her by playing a song about a tall pretty girl who doesn’t know he loves her. (I KNOW!). And later, when they’re dating, Michael’s band, Skinner Box, plays her a song at school for her birthday and it’s called, wait for it, Princess of My Heart. I would have been in a puddle. Right there. Me. On the floor.

Boys in Books3. Michael is not super-clingy– Initially, Michael and Mia are friends. In fact, as the brother of her BFF, he’s one of her best friends. He sits at lunch with her sometimes, but not always. In fact, even when they start dating, Michael isn’t that guy who has to be with her every moment. He still eats with his Computer Club some days, he doesn’t care when she has princess responsibilities or things to do with her friends. He realizes that they can be together and have their own lives. I love this about him because it shows how secure he is.

4. He gets that Mia can freak out– I mean first, she has no clue he likes her, then she sends him these secret admirer cards with chocolate dipped strawberries on them, and later, even though they’re dating, she thinks he only loves her as friends. We won’t even get into the sexy dance or the Judith Gershner fiasco. Mia is young and a little prone to freak outs. She does kooky things. But Michael knows that playing with her little brother soothes her. Michael knows the smell of his neck (Tide and Ivory soap) makes Mia feel better. He doesn’t think she’s weird or a freak. Even more, he realizes that Mia doesn’t always see her awesomeness clearly. Michael sees it all; he gets it, and he loves her for it.

5. He’s mature– Michael is very sensible. He’s responsible. He, unlike his beloved girlfriend, is not prone to moments of pure spazziness. He sees how totally nuts her life is, what a circus Mia’s family can be, and he just goes with the flow, takes it all in stride. Her grandmother gets a busboy fired at Mia’s birthday dinner and causes a city-wide strike? No big deal. His sister is  now cheating on her boyfriend at Mia’s birthday party with said busboy? Bring on the Cheetos.  Michael doesn’t let it get to him. He is a solid force in Mia’s life. And later, when things get sticky, Michael isn’t dramatic about it all. He considers Mia, what’s best for her, and does the right thing even when it’s difficult for both of them.

Star Wars6. He loves Star Wars– There is no more I can say about a man who not only loves Star Wars, but quotes it with his girlfriend. I would have been sold on this alone.

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This is kind of how I picture adult Michael. And I’m so OK with that.

7. The Looks– Mia describes Michael as the third-hottest guy in school. I don’t know if fellow students actually think he’s hot , other than the fact that Mia and Tina discuss his cuteness a few times. I do know this: his hair is a tiny bit too long because he never has time to cut it, it’s dark and a little curly, and he has dark brown eyes. Hello, gorgeous, right? Also, we do know that when Michael appears in the final book, he’s bulked up a bit and even Trisha and Lana think he’s crazy hot. They even compare him to Christian Bale from Batman. We saw it all along though, I’m just sayin.

8. He’s Supportive– Michael is a secure guy. If Mia has to go to a princess function and their date is canceled, he’s cool. He’ll plan something else for them. If Mia is being given a guilt trip by Lilly about the excesses of her family’s wealth, he tells Lilly to shut up  and then spouts off statistics about Genovia being one of the best places to live in the world. He’s the one who helps her figure out she wants to be a writer, he’s the first to read her manuscript, he’s the guy who encourages her to go to Sarah Lawrence. Michael makes it clear he believes in Mia and supports her in this crazy life she leads.

MM Not Sorry9. He’s Forward– Michael knew she was dating Kenny (he wasn’t Kenneth yet), but he still created that computer program for her. He knew she was uncomfortable and insecure, especially when the sex talks started coming up and he told her straight out: you’re the girl I want to be with. And that boy meant FOREVER. And later, when she was with JP, he wasted no time letting Mia know how he felt about her. He flirted with her, he sent a robotic arm to Genovia to help in her father’s election, and though Mia tried to make it a friendly thing, he made sure she knew it wasn’t mere friendship that was on his mind. Michael never, at any time in the series, let there be a doubt about his feelings for Mia.

10. He created a robotic arm to prove to the world that he was worthy of dating her- And yeah, sure, it was to his own benefit and it was this amazing thing that was such an advancement for heart surgeons and their patients. BUT HE MADE IT BECAUSE HE LOVED HER.

11. He saved her snowflake necklace- I loved this part of the story. It showed that it meant something to him and that he hoped one day to give it back to her.

I really could go on. But I won’t. I’ve solidified my geek status today.

If you haven’t already, go out and read a PD book and fall in love with Michael today (just remember that I loved him first). Sigh.

 

Happy Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday- Unique Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

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Well helloooooooo there!  Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. My family was on Spring Break for two weeks which means lots of Disneyland, lots of junk food, too many play dates and sleepovers, and well, lots of hanging out in our pjs. There was little time to read, let alone blog.

But school is on and now it’s back to the business of spazzing over incredible books.

This week for TTT we are discussing books we found to be totally unique. Hello, fabulous topic! Let’s get to it.

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone1. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor- Maybe it’s on my mind because the third and final book in the series comes out TODAY (sniff sniff. I can’t say goodbye) but really it’s because this book is made of awesome. He’s an angel. She’s been raised by chimaera. There’s this beautiful back story. Karou is a wonderfully strong heroine and her forbidden love story with Akiva is breathtaking. Also, Taylor’s writing is so witty and poetic. If you haven’t picked up this book, do it soon.

 

these broken stars2. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner- It’s a sci-fi. It’s a love story. It’s got a creepy ghost vibe. I loved this book.

 

More Than This3. Anything by Patrick Ness- I love his Chaos Walking series. When I try to describe it to someone I totally stumble all over it because it’s sci-fi, it’s dystopic in a way, it’s a survival story.  It’s a story of friendship. It’s pretty much perfect. And now, after recently reading More Than This, I can honestly say that Ness is a stellar writer with a way of telling crazy, odd stories and making the characters who live them seem so very real, so much like you or me.

 

Pawn4. Pawn by Aimee Carter- In a time where we are being overrun with dystopian societies in our YA books, along comes a fun new series about a girl who is surgically enhanced to take the place of a dead royal and who, in doing so, becomes a part of a large rebellion.

 

The Raven Boys5. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater- What a totally unique setting with a cast of interesting, strange characters. Pair that with Stiefvater’s beautiful writing and it’s pretty much unputdownable.

 

Shadow and Bone6. Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo- Bardugo is a gifted storyteller, creating a brand-new world of magic and lore. The descriptions and characters are richly done and the main characters–good and bad–earned my loyalty early on.

 

Burn for Burn7.  Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian- This one has three girls who band together to plot revenge against the kids who make them miserable. It’s not your typical high school story though. This one takes an interesting twist.

 

Wither8. Wither by Lauren DeStefano- Here is another dystopic world and yet it manages to be different. There’s a disease killing of most people in their twenties (I can’t recall the exact age it occurs) so young women are kidnapped and used as the wives (plural) for young men in order to continue family lines and allow the older generations (who are unaffected by the disease) to work on a cure. One of the great things about this book is that DeStefano makes you sympathize with–even like–one of the “bad guys.” Sure, he ends up not being so, so bad in comparison to others in the book, but you end up liking him all the same despite the fact that he’s a guy whose wives are prisoners on his estate.

 

Bumped9. Bumped by Megan McCafferty- This is a dysoptic with a satirical side to it. It’s crass and funny and inspired by a world obsessed with shows like 16 and Pregnant. It’s definitely worth checking out, but it’s not necessarily for the faint of heart or those easily offended.

 

Across the Universe10. Across the Universe by Beth Revis-I loved this book. It’s a sci-fi and a love story with a heavy dose of WHAT THE WHAT thrown in. It’s sort of like an episode of The Twilight Zone (which I love).

 

That’s all for now.

 

Happy Tuesday!

 

Top Ten Tuesday- Authors I’ve Never Read Before

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

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This week the topic is authors I’ve never read before. Let’s just go ahead and skip the classics, because while there are many classics I ADORE, there are tons I haven’t so much as looked twice at. Good gravy, the reader guilt!

I’m going to focus more on authors whose books I’m sort of dying to read but for some reason I’ve never actually attempted to pick up. And the sad thing is, I know their books are good. Everyone says so. And often I read the synopsis on the covers and I think, man, I have GOT to read that. And then I walk away and read The Princess Diaries or The Sky Is Everywhere again (so, either way I’m good, right?).  Here are the authors I must get to, like, now.

1. Melissa Meyer– Okay, Cinder is on my desk right as we speak. I called it in from the library but I haven’t picked it up yet. It’s close; I can feel it. (Editor’s note: I just started it!)

2. Libba Bray– I know. The shame. And the thing is, I know I’ll love her books.

3. Veronica Rossi- Under The Never Sky. This sounds like a series I’ll read and regret how long I’ve waited to get into.

4. Kiersten White– Yep.

5. Holly Black– I’m not sure if I’m even cool enough to read her (ok, no, I’m totally not). Her books sound edgy and mysterious. Totally intimidates me and I don’t know why. This isn’t high school.

6. Elizabeth Scott– Her stories sound good to me. Why haven’t I read one? Not sure.

7. Rick Yancey– Because The Fifth Wave was supposed to be awesome when all my friends told me about it ten thousand years ago.

8. Ruta Sepetys– Her books sound incredible and beautiful, like they might break my heart and put me back together again. Must. Read. Soon.

That’s all for now. I couldn’t make it to 10. I’m sure there are more authors–too many, but I can’t think of them at the time!

Happy Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday- What I Love About Blogging

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

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This week we are discussing what we love about blogging and books in general. Wow.How much time do we have?

1. Reading– Obviously, the biggest thing I love about books is reading. I mean, it wouldn’t be half as fun if I just stared at the covers all day. But seriously, I love having someone tell me a story, taking me away momentarily into their mind.

2. Free Travel- Well, obviously I’d love to go to some of the places I read about, but the idea of being immersed in a place or a culture I’ve never seen or can’t possibly see because, you know, Hogwarts, is an incredible treasure.

3. Firsts Again- I think one of the reasons I love YA is because I met and fell in love with my husband in high school. I get it. I remember those awkward glances over the lockers, and stolen looks while walking to class. I understand having a first kiss you wish could last a lifetime and how it feels to fall hard, and I love experiencing it all again through the eyes of someone else (especially since I can do it with more perspective, more maturity, and hair that isn’t so big).

4. Things I’d Never Do- There are some seriously kick ass girls in YA and while I’d probably go hide in a corner if faced with some of the challenges they have to confront, I love living through it with them, doing things I’d never do in real life, at least vicariously.

5. Passion- I’m not talking about kissy, sexy passion, which is great, too. I’m talking about how, in many YA books, everything that happens–from the smallest thing to the biggest–is felt so deeply, with every ounce of emotion. True, it’s good to live my actual life with more maturity than that, to know that things will be okay in the end, that not everything is the end of the world, but I love watching that emotion play out through someone else’s eyes.

6. Meeting People- I often have epic conversations with my bookish friends, both the ones I know in everyday life and those I know from comments on this blog. I can’t properly express what a blessing it is to talk to people who have the same love of reading–especially YA–that I have.

I recently had an awesome, epic text covo with one of my girlfriends regarding a love triangle she was struggling with. I loved being there for her (she has done the same for me, trust me) and it was funny because my husband was sitting next to me laughing. I showed him the long thread of the conversation and he said, “You have found your people.” So true.

7. Reading Other Blogs- I’ve discovered so many of my favorite books because of other bloggers and the wonderful write ups they do. I’d choose a blog review from a trusted site over a review in a major publication any day.

8. Interacting With Authors- Blogging has given me the opportunity to act like a fangirl without coming across like a crazy stalker (or maybe I do come across as one. I’m not really sure). I’ve had a chance to interview a few amazing writers and the experience has always been awesome.

9. Spreading the Word- Not that my opinion is the end all be all, but if I’m able to help someone find a book that makes their day a little brighter, if I’m able to promote an author who writes things I believe in, then I’m totally satisfied.

10. Lists- I don’t think it’s any secret that I started this blog because I needed to list my favorite male and female book characters for my best friend. Yes, I used the word needed. Getting that out, making it known, made me happy. The world now knows. Whatever. Don’t laugh. 🙂

Happy Tuesday!