Tuesday Top Ten

top ten high school

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week’s challenge was to list the books that should be added to high school reading lists.  I know that some high schools some where DO include some of these books in their lists, but not many, and not often enough.  I also want to clarify that I still think high school students should be reading the classics!  They just need to add some “new classics” to the list.

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  2. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  3. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  4. Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  5. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
  6. 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  7. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Alexie Sherman
  8. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  9. Maus I & Maus II by Art Spiegelman
  10. The Giver by Lois Lowry



Having just finished A Constellation of Vital Phenomena it was definitely time for me to find an easy read, something light and fun, and Invisibility fit the bill.

Stephen is invisible, he was born invisible due to a curse that was put on his mother, and he has always been invisible.  His dad couldn’t take it and left and his mother has died, leaving Stephen to walk the streets of NYC alone and unseen.

Elizabeth is moving to NYC with her brother Laurie and her mom.  They are starting a new life, minus dad, after a horrific event occurred in their old life in Minnesota.  Elizabeth is angry and bitter and wants nothing more than to disappear into the anonymity of the city.

Everything changes for them both on the day Elizabeth moves into Stephen’s apartment building and actually sees him, even though he remains invisible to everyone else.  Of course they fall in love, and he has to eventually explain to Elizabeth why no one else can see him.  Turns out that his grandfather is a cursecaster, an evil guy who curses people for fun, including his own daughter, Stephen’s mom.  And wouldn’t you know it?  Elizabeth is a spellseeker, destined to help control cursecasters and able to see curses placed on others.  With the help of another spellseeker, Millie, Elizabeth begins to learn about her powers on a quest to help Stephen.

Will they be able to find Stephen’s grandfather and reverse the curse?  Will Stephen become visible to others?  Will Elizabeth’s powers get strong enough in time?

The ending was not as predictable as I thought it might be, and there are many out there clamoring for a sequel and it has not been ruled out by the authors, but I say leave it as it is – not everything needs to get tied up in a neat package at the end of every book.

OK- Elizabeth can be a little annoying and well, dull, at times and there were moments when I wanted to strangle Stephen into being more engaged in the fight for his own well-being, but overall I enjoyed the story and the characters.  I loved Laurie and would’ve liked to see even more of him – he brings great humor and humanity into the story.  Overall, a fun quick read to throw into your beach-read pile of books!

“Every fight for survival is really a fight to return to the inconsequential concerns of the mundane.” 

Title:  Invisibility
Author: Andrea Cremer and David Levithan
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Publication: Philomel, May 2013

Top Ten Books I Recommend The Most

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week the challenge is to list the books that we recommend the most.  Each experience with a book is intensely personal, recommending a book is dangerous business.  What you love may not be loved by others since every person’s experience with a book is distinct.  You may not love the books that I love, but these are those that I love enough to recommend to others…

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – If I had to pick one book that has impacted me the most, which I found to be the greatest book I have ever read, this would be it.  I believe that we are watching a classic be born and someday I will be telling my grandkids that I remember when it was a new release!  If you have not read this book please do so, immediately.
  2. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan – A fantastic coming-of-age story about two boys (all they have in common is the name) who are figuring out who they are, how to be that person, and how to find acceptance.  There are a ton of coming-of-age books out there, but I have never read one that tells the story so beautifully.
  3. The Giver by Lois Lowry – Can a utopian society really exist?  What has to be given up?  And is it worth the price?  What if you decide it isn’t worth the cost?  There are a lot of books out now that deal with dystopian societies, but this is definitely my favorite, dealing with the core questions artfully.
  4. The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny – I love the Inspector Gamache series and it only gets better with each book that is released.  While there are a lot of mystery series that I enjoy, this series has a depth and beauty that I have not found elsewhere.  The character development, history, settings, depth of interactions and emotions, make this my favorite to recommend for mystery lovers.
  5. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick – An inspired work of art.  The story is told through a combination of words and amazing illustrations and is done seamlessly.  His second book, Wonderstruck, is just as wonderful and I recommend both of these books to children and adults alike.
  6. Whatever it Takes by Paul Tough – I am passionate about the importance of education, particularly literacy.  This book about Geoffrey Canada’s work in starting The Harlem Children’s Zone is information and inspiring.
  7. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand – The story of Louis Zamperini’s life, from his delinquent childhood to the Berlin Olympics through harrowing experiences during World War II, is an amazing tale of perseverance and faith.
  8. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo – My favorite DiCamillo book and the book that I enjoyed reading to the kids the most.  A new fairy tale – another one that I will tell my grandkids about someday!
  9. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein – Both humorous and heart-wrenching, the story of people as told from the point of view of a dog.  Sounds a hokey but somehow it really does work, leaving you loving the soul of this amazing animal.
  10. Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers by Thich Nhat Hanh – I love the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk exiled from Vietnam.  This book is a conversation between Jesus and Buddha, centered in compassion and the similarities that are at the core of both beliefs.

Top Ten Authors on My Auto-Buy List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week the challenge is to list the authors that we love, and love enough to hand over our hard-earned cash anytime they publish something, anything.  My list is all over the place, just like my reading interests, but these are the ones that will get my cash no matter what…

  1. Markus Zusak – After reading The Book Thief, I devoured everything he has ever published and would be the first in line for anything else he ever writes!
  2. John Green – I have really been moved by all of his books and collaborations, they’ve made me laugh and they’ve made me cry, and they have all stayed with me when I was done reading. Fault in our Stars, An Abundance of Katherines, Looking for Alaska and Will Grayson, Will Grayson being among my favorites…
  3. David Levithan – I have not had the chance to read all of his stuff, but I thought every day was fantastic, and I loved his collaboration with John Green (did I already say that??)
  4. Ruta Sepetys – Great historical fiction for a young adult audience.  She does a fantastic job of transporting you to a different time and place.  Just started Out of the Easy and I am already hooked!
  5. Eoin Colfer – I got hooked with the Artemis Fowl series which I read with my husband and son, and have moved on to read his other works, all which were engaging.
  6. Louise Penny – Her Inspector Gamache series has to be my favorite series of all time.  The character development, settings, stories, relationships, everything, is nearly perfect and I eagerly await the next book, How the Light Gets In, coming out in August!
  7. Reed Farrel Coleman – I originally became a huge fan of his gritty series about ex-NYC cop Moe Prager and can’t wait until he writes another!  I also really enjoyed his recent novel, Gun Church. 
  8. Janet Evanovich – Might be lightweight reading, done in an afternoon, but her she always makes me laugh out loud, particularly in her Stephanie Plum series!
  9. Kate DiCamillo – Her books are my favorites to read out loud to my kids, Tale of Despereaux, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Because of Winn Dixie are our favorites, but there are none that we didn’t all love as a family!
  10. Thich Nhat Hanh – OK, he hasn’t been on my auto-buy list yet, but I really want him to be!  He writes a lot, so it would be tough to make sure that I always kept up with it, but everything that I have read of his I found to be insightful and thought provoking.