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10 of the Best Narrator and Audiobook Pairings of All Time
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on July 22, 2015



When famous voices collide with famous stories, we all win. So this summer, whether you're driving cross country or cruising at 30,000 feet, give your eyes a rest—and your ears a treat—with audiobooks narrated by some of your favorite actors.

(And in case you didn't know, you can listen to free audio samples for over 180,000 Audible titles on Goodreads! Just look for the Listen icon on the Goodreads book page.)


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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS
Written by Kurt Vonnegut
Narrated by John Malkovich (Dangerous Liaisons, Being John Malkovich)

Suggested activities while listening: Wandering around a local arts festival, eating breakfast (too easy?), breaking down fourth walls


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READY PLAYER ONE
Written by Ernest Cline
Narrated by Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Stand by Me)

Suggested activities while listening: Visiting an immersive virtual world, hunting for obscure easter eggs, making the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs

*Bonus: Wheaton also narrates Cline's new book, Armada.


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BOSSYPANTS
Written by Tina Fey
Narrated by Tina Fey (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock)

Suggested activities while listening: Shamelessly snacking, waking up from a stress dream, trying on your own own pair of metaphorical bossypants


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THE HANDMAID'S TALE
Written by Margaret Atwood
Narrated by Claire Danes (My So-Called Life, Homeland)

Suggested activities while listening: Contemplating your identity within society, babysitting, sticking it to the man


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THE THINGS THEY CARRIED
Written by Tim O'Brien
Narrated by Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle, Breaking Bad)

Suggested activities while listening: Cleaning your closet or garage, heading to the dentist, avoiding political debates on Facebook


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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
Written by Harper Lee
Narrated by Sissy Spacek (Carrie, Coal Miner's Daughter)

Suggested activities while listening: Driving through tired old towns, collecting gifts from reclusive neighbors, shooting all the blue jays you want (if you can hit 'em)

*Bonus: Reese Witherspoon narrates Lee's follow-up, Go Set a Watchman.


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NATIVE SON
Written by Richard Wright
Narrated by James Earl Jones (The Lion King, Star Wars)

Suggested activities while listening: Waiting for your home to be fumigated—and then realizing that, in a strictly figurative sense, you resonate more with the rat than with the fumigator


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A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
Written by Lemony Snicket
Narrated by Tim Curry (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, It)

Suggested activities while listening: Playing at the beach on a day you expect to hear very terrible news, "volunteering" at your community theater, setting things on fire


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FAHRENHEIT 451
Written by Ray Bradbury
Narrated by Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption, Mystic River)

Suggested activities while listening: Memorizing Fahrenheit 451 for that inevitable time when society rejects—and then is ready to accept—it


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THE ART OF WAR
Written by Sun Tzu
Narrated by Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones, The Wire)

Suggested activities while listening: Waiting for your enemies to fall into your carefully constructed trap or relaxing because you now fight all your wars without actually having to do battle


Have a favorite audiobook and narrator pairing? Share it with us in the comments!

16 Best Books Set on the Beach
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on July 17, 2015



Trips to the Caribbean or the Mediterranean are expensive; books are not. Save some cash this season and enjoy the sun and surf by reading about it. Unlike a real beach trip, you'll be guaranteed a brilliant story without the risk of a sunburn. It's a win-win situation!

From idyllic romance on the New England coast to grim post-apocalypse survival on a ragged shoreline, we've got beaches in every genre. Dive in!


BEACHES WITH A CHANCE OF MURDER AND MAYHEM
The Enchanted Castle
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Emma
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BEACHES FOR SUNBURNED LOVERS
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I Capture the Castle
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The Wind in the Willows
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BEACHES TO FIND (AND TO LOSE) YOURSELF ON
The Iliad
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The Sword in the Stone
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BEACHES FOR ADVENTUROUS INTROVERTS
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The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
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I Manxmouse
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What's your favorite beach read?
9 Timeless Quotes from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on July 14, 2015



Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman hits shelves today. While we're anxious to catch up with Scout, Atticus, and the rest of the Maycomb gang, we know nothing will ever truly replace To Kill a Mockingbird's hallowed place on our bookshelves and in our hearts. Celebrate the timeless classic with these unforgettable quotes.


1. "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."

2. "Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts."

3. "I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what."


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4. "People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for."

5. "You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don't you let 'em get your goat. Try fightin' with your head for a change."

6. "I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks."

7. "The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."

8. "Atticus said to Jem one day, 'I'd rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you'll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.' That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. 'Your father's right,' she said. 'Mockingbirds don't do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corn cribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.'"

9. "Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing."

What's your favorite To Kill a Mockingbird quote?
Irresistible Book Recommendations for Every Type of Summer Reader
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on July 10, 2015

This week we revealed how you do summer reading. We crunched the numbers on where you read and how you read, but the biggest question remains: What will you be reading? If you've still got room in your beach bag—and figurative beach bags always have room for more books—then get ready for recommendations. Because whether you're a jet-setting traveler eager to learn or a cozy homebody hungry for mystery, we've got something for you. What will catch your eye?

For the Amateur Sleuth: Books That Bring Out Your Inner Sherlock
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For the Eternal Academic: Books That Teach You Something
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For the Hopeless Romantic: Books That Steam Up Your Cabana
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For the Late Bloomer: Books You Should've Read in High School
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For the Literary Bookworm: Books That Made All the Top 10 Lists
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For the Daydreamer: Books That Transport You to a Different World
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What books will you be adding to your beach bag this summer?
This Is How Goodreads Members Do Summer Reading
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on July 08, 2015

We polled Goodreads members about their summer reading habits, and the votes—over 95,000 of them—are in. Guess where 63% of respondents will be doing their summer reading? (Hint: It's not at the beach.) Check out more summer reading revelations below!



What books will you be reading this summer? (And if you didn't get a chance to vote in our polls, let us know how you do summer reading in the comments!)
10 Great Cookbooks to Savor This Summer
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on July 03, 2015



J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote, "If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

This summer, take Tolkien's advice. Put aside your hoarded gold, gather up some friends, and start valuing your food. The following cookbooks can help. From decadent bacon chocolate chip cookies to delectable spicy honey and habanero shrimp, there's a little something to inspire every palate. Bon appétit!


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The Lemon Cookbook: 50 Sweet & Savory Recipes to Brighten Every Meal
by Ellen Jackson

Sample recipes: Meyer Lemon Risotto with Dungeness Crab Tarragon, Lemon Buttermilk Panna Cotta


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Summer Cocktails: Margaritas, Mint Juleps, Punches, Party Snacks, and More
by Maria Del Mar Sacasa and Tara Striana

Sample recipes: Peachy Keen Punch, Ginger-Lemongrass Piña Colada, Tomatillo and Coriander Tequila


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Passion for Pizza: A Journey Through Thick and Thin to Find the Pizza Elite
by Craig Whitson, Tore Gjesteland, Mats Widen, and Kenneth Hansen

Sample recipes: New York-Sicilian Hybrid Pizza, Aloha Pizza, Rolled-Up Calzone with Ricotta and Salami


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Simply Ancient Grains: Fresh and Flavorful Whole Grain Recipes for Living Well
by Maria Speck

Sample recipes: Spicy Honey and Habanero Shrimp with Cherry Couscous, Farro Salad with Roasted Eggplant, Red Rice Shakshuka


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The Blender Girl Smoothies: 100 Gluten-Free Vegan, and Paleo-Friendly Recipes
by Tess Masters

Sample recipes: Green Mojito, Tastes-Like-Ice-Cream Kale, Antioxidant Avenger


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My New Roots: Inspired Plant-Based Recipes for Every Season
by Sarah Britton

Sample recipes: Buckwheat Crepes with Purple String Bean Slaw, Life-Changing Loaf of Bread, Raspberry Macadamia Thumbprint Cookies


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Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto
by Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay

Sample recipes: Sauces and rubs for all your meat, plus recipes for the fixings. (It's more of a comprehensive barbecue how-to than a straight-forward recipe book.)


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Buttercream Dreams: Small Cakes, Big Scoops, and Sweet Treats
by Jeff Martin

Sample recipes: Peanut Butter Pretzel and French Toast with Bacon, Caramel Pecan Carrot Cake


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Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes
by Dreena Burton

Sample recipes: Sneaky Chickpea Burgers, No-Bake Granola Bars, Apple Pie Chia Pudding


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Cookie Love: 60 Recipes and Techniques for Turning the Ordinary into the Extraordinary
by Mindy Segal

Sample recipes: Brown Butter with Hickory Smoked Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies, Crème de Violet Snickerdoodles



Have an irresistible summer recipe? Share it with us in the comments!

12 Beautiful Quotes of Hope and Inspiration from Helen Keller
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on June 27, 2015



June 27, 1880: On this day, Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama. She was a happy and confident baby, precociously starting to talk at 6 months.

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"Then, in the dreary month of February," Keller wrote in her autobiography, The Story of My Life, "came the illness which closed my eyes and ears and plunged me into the unconsciousness of a newborn." Her family doctor called it "brain fever." (Modern experts believe the illness was likely scarlet fever or meningitis.) The fever finally passed, but when it did, she was left, at 18 months old, permanently deaf and blind.

In the face of such adversity, Keller persevered, earning a bachelor of arts degree at the age of 24—the first deaf-blind person ever to do so—and going on to become an author, lecturer, and political activist. Read on for words of wisdom and encouragement from one of the most inspiring women in history.


1."I wonder what becomes of lost opportunities? Perhaps our guardian angel gathers them up as we drop them, and will give them back to us in the beautiful sometime when we have grown wiser, and learned how to use them rightly."

2. "One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar."

3. "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all."

4. "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart."

5. "When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us."

6."Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it."

7. "Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows."

8. "Never bend your head. Hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye."

9. "What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us."

10. "I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light."

11. "Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content."

12. "Literature is my Utopia."


6 Reasons to Add the Bodleian Library to Your Book Bucket List
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on June 23, 2015



If "books are a uniquely portable magic," then libraries must be one of the most magical places on earth (and librarians must be magicians). Oxford University's Bodleian Library certainly looks the part. This historical institution—and part-time Hogwarts stand-in—is a must-see for any traveling book worm. If it isn't on your book bucket list already, we think we can change your mind.


Reason #1: It has over 11 million printed items.
Not to shame your local library, but we're betting your usual book haunts can't quite compare to Bodleian's veritable army of tomes. Among the 11 million items to browse are a rare copy of Shakespeare's First Folio, unbound and unrestored, along with the largest collection of pre-1500 printed books in any university library in the world.

Reason #2: This is what it looks like on the outside.

Be still our bookish hearts. The image above is of Radcliffe Camera, which serves as a reading room for the Bodleian (because the Bodleian is so massive that architectural wonders like this are used as a "room").

Reason #3: Its history goes back to the fourteenth century.
While the Bodleian Library officially opened to scholars in the seventeenth century, the collection truly began with Thomas Cobham, Bishop of Worcester, in 1320. At the time, all of the books were chained to the wall to prevent theft. With generous contributions from Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and Thomas Bodley, the library was refitted and re-opened under the name Bodleian Library on November 8, 1602.

Reason #4: You may have seen your favorite fictional wizards here on the big screen.

Duke Humphrey's library, the oldest reading room in the Bodleian, was used as the filming location for the Hogwarts Library in the Harry Potter films. And, in case you were wondering, The Bodleian staff is "experienced in working with both small and large scale filming projects." Other film credits include The Golden Compass, Brideshead Revisited, and The Madness of King George III.

Reason #5: It has a pretty sweet nickname.
Just call it "Bodley" or the "the Bod," and you'll fit right in with the rest of the Oxford students. (Well, maybe not, but it's worth a try.)

Reason #6: Oscar Wilde, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and more browsed its shelves.

Some of the greats have found inspiration here. Including the above writers, five kings, 40 Nobel Prize winners, and 26 prime ministers (and counting!) have all studied at the Bodleian.


Know of any other magical places for our book bucket list? Let us know in the comments!
Words of Wisdom from Your Favorite Fictional Book Dads
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on June 20, 2015

Book dads don't have it easy. After all, it's never just about raising kids—there are always criminals to apprehend, apocalypses to avoid, and winters to plan for! So this Father's Day, let's remember to appreciate the dads who did it all from the page.

Last week we asked on Facebook and Twitter: Who's your favorite book dad? Today we've got your top answers! Did your pick make the list?

CARSON DREW
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The Double Jinx Mystery
by Carolyn Keene


Dad Wisdom: "Nancy, you're not the only one who gets hunches."


THE MAN
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The Road
by Cormac McCarthy


Dad Wisdom: "You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget."


ATTICUS FINCH
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To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee


Dad Wisdom: "Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."


SAMUEL VIMES
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Where's My Cow?
by Terry Pratchett


Dad Wisdom: "If you lose your cow, you should report this to the Watch under Demonic & Farmyard Animals (Lost) Act of 1804. They will swing into action with keenness and speed. Your cow will be found. If it has been impersonating other animals, it may be arrested."


HARRY BOSCH
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The Black Echo
by Michael Connelly


Dad Wisdom: "Everybody counts or nobody counts."


MR. BENNET
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Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen


Dad Wisdom: "Next to being married, a girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then. It is something to think of, and it gives her a sort of distinction among her companions. When is your turn to come?"


NED STARK
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A Game of Thrones
by George R.R. Martin


Dad Wisdom: "If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die."


MATTHEW CUTHBERT
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Anne of Green Gables
by L.M. Montgomery


Dad Wisdom: "Don't you think you'd better [apologize] and have it over? It'll have to be done sooner or later, you know...Do it right off, I say, and have it over."


MR. WEASLEY
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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
by J.K. Rowling


Dad Wisdom: "Haven't I taught you anything? What have I always told you? Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can't see where it keeps its brain."


CALVIN'S DAD
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The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
by Bill Watterson


Dad Wisdom: "Numb toes build character."


Did we miss your favorite book dad? Then tell us who he is in the comments!

10 Book Characters You Wish You Could Fall for in Real Life
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on June 18, 2015

Last week we asked on Facebook and on Twitter: Who's your one true book love? Today we've got your top answers! Did your literary crush make the list?

CAPTAIN WENTWORTH
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Persuasian
by Jane Austen

Potential First Date: A stroll around Bath while chatting about faithfulness, briefly interrupted by a concussed woman in need of aid. (It'll be a big bonding moment for the two of you.)


KVOTHE
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The Name of the Wind
by Patrick Rothfuss

Potential First Date: Drinks and a show at The Eolian, a surprise showdown with the Chandrian, and a demonstration of wind summoning—if the night's going well.


KATNISS EVERDEEN
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The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins

Potential First Date: An illegal hunting trip—BYOB (bring your own bow)—and a late afternoon revolution. Your chance of a second date will be as high as your chance of survival.


RADCLIFFE EMERSON
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Crocodile on the Sandbank
by Elizabeth Peters

Potential First Date: An excavation of a cursed Egyptian burial site followed by a most inconvenient (but oddly romantic) run-in with a suspected mummy.


JO MARCH
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Little Women
by Louisa May Alcott

Potential First Date: A matinee at the local community theater, a lesson in German, and a rather tempestuous writing workshop that both of you will immediately regret.


JAMIE FRASER
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Outlander
by Diana Gabaldon

Potential First Date: A midnight horseback ride across the moors, redcoats in pursuit, of course. Afterwards, whoever's less injured can tend the other's wounds by the fire.


GILBERT BLYTHE
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Anne of Green Gables
by L.M. Montgomery

Potential First Date: An almost disastrous boating misadventure on the river, followed by a relaxing picnic with all the food you can eat and all the books you can read.


SEVERUS SNAPE
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
by J.K. Rowling

Potential First Date: A candlelit private lesson in Hogwart's Potions Classroom where, after some dangerous experimentation, the two of you will invent a new curse.


JACE WAYLAND
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City of Bones
by Cassandra Clare

Potential First Date: A quiet dinner downtown followed by a late-night bash at the Pandemonium Club. Your sizzling chemistry will be somewhat derailed by a demon hunt, but some things have to take priority.


MR. DARCY
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Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen

Potential First Date: It'll begin at the Meryton ball—where fleeting eye contact and awkward conversation will rule the dance floor—before culminating, as these things do, with confessions of mutual admiration outside in the rain.


If your one true book love didn't make the list, tell us who he or she is in the comments!

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