Tuesday Top Ten

top ten recognition

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 authors that I think deserve more recognition.  That doesn’t mean that they don’t get any recognition, I just think they should get more.  It also doesn’t necessarily mean that they are writing the greatest literature of our time (although some are), just that I think they are being overlooked.   Oh, and I only came up with 9, although I am sure there are more I’m just not recognizing…

Authors of my 3 Favorite Mystery Series:

Louise Penny – Her Inspector Gamache series is simply amazing and she should always be at the top of the NY Times bestseller list!

Reed Farrel Coleman – His gritty Moe Prager novels are the best of the best and shouldn’t be missed by any mystery fan.

Kate Carlisle – My favorite cozy mystery series – The Bibliophile Mysteries combine two things I love – books and mysteries.  These books are a step above many of the cozy mysteries out there.

YA Authors:

Patrick Ness – His Chaos Walking series is suspenseful and dark and well-written.  Fans of dystopian fiction should give them  a try – they are as good or better than other series out there.

Rainbow Rowell – I read Eleanor & Park and fell in love – I hope to see much more from this writer and hope she gets overwhelmed with recognition.

Markus Zusak – The Book Thief should be required reading in every high school, until that happens, and until he is recognized as having written the next classic novel, no amount of recognition will be enough!

Adult Authors:

Eoin Colfer – His Artemis Fowl series received a great deal of attention, but I would like to see him receive more for his adult series featuring Daniel McEvoy.

Anthony Marra – A Constellation of Vital Phenomena was amazing and I can’t wait to read more from him!

Robin Sloan – One of my favorite books of the year – Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore was a funny, quirky story of a quest for immortality.  Anticipating what comes next!

Tuesday Top Ten

topten2013

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 top ten list of books that I’ve read so far in 2013 – I am just limiting myself to those for which I’ve written reviews, so these are actually my favorites since I started my blog in February (and in no particular order)!

  1. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys – Funny and touching story set in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1950.
  2. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan – A fun and quirky adventure melding the ancient with the latest technology.
  3. Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger – A mystery and a coming-of-age story set in 1960s small town Minnesota.
  4. With or Without You by Domenica RutaA searing memoir of the author’s relationship with her drug-addled and irresponsible mother and her own struggles with addiction.
  5. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – A touching and endearing story of young love between two unique individuals.
  6. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham – An amazing story of this founding father, a complex and fascinating man.
  7. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson Unique storytelling style combined with an up-close look at life in England during the two world wars.
  8. Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra – A difficult yet beautiful novel set during the wars in Chechnya.
  9. Screwed by Eoin Colfer – A well-told story – gritty, violent, and raunchy – but great characters and a lot of fun!
  10. Onion Street by Reed Farrel Coleman – Another installment in this wonderful detective series!

Screwed

screwedI love Eoin Colfer’s writing.  His Artemis Fowl series about a twelve-year old evil genius and the fairy world was a favorite in my family – unique, funny, adventurous.  His Daniel McEvoy series is definitely different, but no less compelling and enjoyable.

Screwed is the second in the series, following Unplugged, and the down-on-his-luck Irish bouncer McEvoy is now the owner of his own casino (along with his partner Jason) in New Jersey.  Surrounded by a cast of less-than-helpful friends – the ethically-challenged cosmetic surgeon Zeb, the beautiful yet delusional girlfriend Sophia, the hippy psychiatrist tweeting his advice from Ireland, his drunken aunt, and the angry Lieutenant Ronelle – McEvoy goes through more crises over the course of a couple of days than seems humanly possible.  Irish mob boss Mike Madden tells McEvoy to deliver a package to the young mobster Shea – throw in dirty cops Krieger and Fortz, his young step-grandmother Edit, Shea’s goon Freckles, and a host of other unsavory characters and things go horribly awry with twists and turns until the very end.

Screwed is gritty, violent, raunchy – some of the scenes and language is not for the faint-of-heart.  But it is fun and original, fast-paced and entertaining, true storytelling.

Title:  Screwed
Author: Eoin Colfer
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 322
Publication: Overlook, May 2013

Top Ten Favorite Books I Read Before I Was A Blogger

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 create a list of the books that were my favorite before I was a blogger.  Since I’ve actually only been blogging for a couple of months most of my favorites are from before I was a blogger, and I’ve already talked about most of them in other top 10 posts.  So I decided to change it up a little bit and make it a list of some of my favorites from before I was a blogger that I haven’t already mentioned in some other top 10 list.

  1. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye by Rachel Joyce – Harold is recently retired and living in a small English village with his cranky wife when he gets a letter from an old friend who is dying of cancer.  Instead of stopping at the post office to send his response he keeps walking, deciding to walk across the country to deliver it personally.  I found the book to be humorous, poignant, and charming.
  2. Good American by Alex George – Frederick and Jette travel to America in 1904 and what follows is the story of their lives, and the lives of their descendants, as told by their grandson.  I loved the story of this immigrant family against the backdrop of the history of our country.
  3. Abundance of Katherines by John Green – I have admitted to a love for John Green and this is one of my favorites.  Colin, a former child prodigy, has only dated girls named Katherine (and always with a “K”, never a “C”), and has been dumped by all of them, nineteen times.  He takes off on a road trip with his best friend in search of a provable Katherine Theorem.  What follows is funny and insightful, a story of friendship, love, and figuring out who you are.
  4. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall – I’m not a runner – I wish that I was – but that is not something my orthopedic surgeon would recommend.  But you don’t need to be a runner to love this book.  McDougall provides an engrossing story about ultra-runners, from scientific research to the Tarahumara Indians in an isolated part of Mexico that run hundreds of miles, to a race between those very natives and the world’s best ultra-distance runners.  Makes me sometimes think that even I could be a runner…
  5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – I had to add this one – my favorite from the time when I was a little kid – one that I tried to re-read at least once a year while I was growing up.  I always wanted to be Jo!
  6. The Messenger by Markus Zusak – I have to give a shout out to my favorite author, even if I have stopped myself from carrying on again about my absolute favorite book (The Book Thief – in case you forgot).  When Ed mistakenly stops a bank robber he receives his first playing card in the mail with an anonymous message – more will follow – a great adventure into the why and how and who… and does he change the lives of others or of himself?
  7. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer – Artermis Fowl is a brilliant and evil criminal mastermind, and he is twelve.  The first in this series is certainly the best as Artemis embarks on a plan to rob the fairies of their gold, combining fantasty, myth, adventure, and technology along with a good dose of humor this was a great read from beginning to end.
  8. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz – Odd Thomas is a 20-year old fry cook who can see the dead.  Throughout the series, Odd Thomas will try to stop a number of disasters and resolve a number of mysteries, but what is greatest about these books is Odd himself, a humble and courageous character, and the humor that is combined with the grotesque.
  9. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss – Probably my favorite Dr. Seuss book, and certainly one of my favorites to read-aloud (although they are all great for reading aloud!).  “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
  10. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – How can this not be on everyone’s list??  Of all the series, the first is still probably my favorite since it was what introduced me to the world of Harry Potter, a world I so desperately wanted to be real and wanted to live in.  My eleven year old daughter has been reading the series for the first time and she wept when the first book was over and she realized that the world J.K. Rowling had created would never be real for her…

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.