Tuesday Top Ten

top ten sequels

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 ten best sequels.  There are plenty of series that I have highly enjoyed, but it is often difficult to pick out the best in series, the sequel that is truly the highlight, and most times I can’t even remember what happened in which book, but I’ll give it a try!

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling – It may be the only time that the final book in a series didn’t let me down in some way…  The only let down was that it was over.
  2. Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny – A heartbreakingly beautiful novel, far more about the characters than the mystery, although that is fascinating as well.
  3. How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny – The sequel that I have most anticipated (OK – after the Harry Potter series!) and it did not disappoint!
  4. Son by Lois Lowry – This sequel to The Giver brought together the three previous novels beautifully and answered a lot of questions within an engrossing story.
  5. Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls – This story of the author’s grandmother is gripping and a wonderful sequel to her memoir The Glass Castle.
  6. Insurgent by Veronica Roth – Maybe it’s just because I am anxiously awaiting the final book in the series, but this novel did not disappoint as so many middle books in a trilogy often do.
  7. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larrson – As raw and gripping as the first!
  8. Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith – While I have enjoyed all of the books in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, finding the language and cadence of the stories like a mini-vacation, this one has always been one of my favorites.
  9. The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer – This is when some of the first indications appear that Artemis Fowl may actually have emotions…
  10. Soul Patch by Reed Farrel Coleman – One of my favorites of the Moe Prager series, gritty and sad.
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Top Ten Tuesday

toptennonfiction

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 was to make any list we wanted.  So, in honor of my friend Nate, lover of all things non-fiction, I decided to make a list of my top ten favorite non-fiction books.  They may not be ones that he would like, but it goes to show that I do read and enjoy non-fiction now and then!

  1. Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder – My geekiness comes out here, part of me will always be an engineer and I loved this story of a group of brilliant and dedicated engineers at Data General as they design and build a new computer in just one year.
  2. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham – Thomas Jefferson is probably the figure from American history that I most admire and this biography was engrossing and enlightening.
  3. Whatever it Takes by Paul Tough – Although the task is daunting and the statistics sometimes overwhelming and depressing, the story of the work that Geoffrey Canada is doing for literacy and learning through the Harlem Zone is inspiring.
  4. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall – McDougall provides an engrossing story about ultra-runners, from scientific research to the natives 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 want to run and fell the wind in my hair and the earth beneath my feet…
  5. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand The story of Louis Zamperini’s life, from his delinquent childhood to the Berlin Olympics to harrowing experiences during World War II and his recovery upon returning home, is an amazing tale of perseverance and faith.
  6. Ghost in the Wires by Kevin MitnikNow the dork in me comes out again… For years Kevin Mitnik was the most elusive computer hacker in the world, and hacking was a game to him, a cross between a puzzle and a con.  This story of his escapades, his run from the authorities, and his ultimate capture is an amazing thrill-ride.
  7. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson – A fascinating biography about a fascinating man – a jerk and a genius, one inseparable from the other in his pursuit of absolute perfection.  A technological revolutionary who connected art and technology and consumers as never before.  This story of his life is well-balanced and interesting (and the geek in me loved to read about the development of some of the most famous products in technology history), providing an unbiased glimpse into the life of a unique man.
  8. Half-Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls – I found Jeanette Walls’ memoir, Glass Castles, to be compelling, but I absolutely loved this story of her grandmother, a tough, no-nonsense woman who was breaking horses when she was six, travelling along to an isolated town to teach when she was fifteen, learning to fly planes and running a vast ranch through both personal and natural disasters. A truly captivating story about an amazing woman and her life.
  9. Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma – I love to read with my kids, and although I do try, we don’t manage to make it every night.  In fourth grade, Alice and her father decide that they are going to read together for at least ten minutes every night for 100 nights.  After the 100 nights are over, they keep going, reading together every night until Alice goes to college.  This book tells the story of their relationship through the stories that they shared together, making me hope that the stories I have shared with my children will have an impact as well.
  10. The Outermost House by Henry Beston – For years my husband and I would take the kids and stay for a week in a small ramshackle cottage on the dunes of Cape Cod on the National Seashore.  Henry Beston’s descriptions of his solitary year spent there are beautiful and captivating; they always take me back to one of my favorite places to be.