Tuesday Top Ten

unique

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 most unique books that I’ve read.  They can be unique for any reason – the narrator’s voice, the point of view, the setting, the characters – whatever it is that made them stand out in my mind as unique.

  1. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick – Told through both words and beautifully intricate and moving illustrations, Selznick’s works are like nothing else I have ever seen.
  2. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – OK, nearly anything by Neil Gaiman!  But this adult fairy tale is in a class of its own.
  3. Maus by Art Spiegelman – A graphic novel about the Holocaust.  Sounds strange, but it works, amazingly.
  4. Monster by Walter Dean Myers –  Steve is in juvenile detention, awaiting trial, and tells the story of how he got there through a screenplay running through his mind, along with journal entries.
  5. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – Alternate chapters tell the stories of two women through their email correspondence.  It sounds like it could be clunky, but it worked.
  6. ttyl by Lauren Myracle – The entire novel is told through instant message transcripts between a group of teenage girls, it at least left me with a better vocabulary of messaging shorthand!
  7. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo – Edward Tulane is a conceited china rabbit (yes – you read that right, but trust me – it works!) who is lost by his owner and goes on a journey of redemption, to learn of love and loss, from garbage piles to the bottom of the ocean to a hobo camp and beyond..
  8. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent – The first book that I’ve ever read about historical Iceland and the beheading of women.  Definitely different.
  9. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson – Ursula Todd is born on a snowy night in England 1910.  Strangled by the umbilical cord she does not survive.  Until she is born again, and dies again, and is born again…  Through each of her lives she is born into the same family, and meets many of the same people, but her life is different each time.
  10. Mr.  Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan – An unique melding of the ancient and technology with one of the quirkiest cast of characters.

 

Tuesday Top Ten

historical fiction

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 books in a specific genre.  I chose historical fiction since it’s a genre that I never thought I really liked until it quickly became one of my favorites over the past couple of years.

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – The most touching book I have ever read, it takes place during WWII in Germany and provides unique perspective and an even more unique narrator.
  2. The Son by Philipp Meyer – The history of Texas, from 1836 through the present day, from the attack of Native Americans through the rollercoaster of the oil industry.
  3. Belle Cora by Phillip Margulies – From early-1800s New York City to the farms of upstate NY to San Francisco during the Gold Rush this is the story of a woman and her life.
  4. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys – A coming of age story in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1950.
  5. Codename Verity by Elizabeth Wein – The story of two women, two friends, a pilot and a spy, during WWII.
  6. Brewster by Mark Slouka – A beautifully written story of friends growing up in upstate New York in 1968.
  7. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent – The last public beheading to take place in Iceland in the early 1800s.  A devastatingly beautiful story.
  8. A Good American by Alex George – The story of immigrants to America in 1904 and their lives, and the lives of their descendants, as told by their grandson.
  9. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson – Ursula’s story allows you to travel through various scenarios throughout the early to mid-1900s as she is born and dies again and again.
  10. Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert – Epic in scope, from the mid-1700s through most of the 1800s, this story also travels the globe, from England and American and Amsterdam to Tahiti and the jungles of the world.

Tuesday Top Ten

top ten cry

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 books that make me weep…  I’m getting a little teary just thinking about them…  But I’m not going to tell you WHY they make me cry, if I do that it’s like giving away the ending and I wouldn’t want to do that!

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  2. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
  3. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  4. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  5. America by E.R. Frank
  6. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  7. The Fault in our Stars  by John Green
  8. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
  9. The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Tuesday Top Ten

top ten worlds

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 worlds from books that we wouldn’t want to live in.  The first part of the list was easy, I’ve haven’t met many dystopian societies that have much to recommend them…  After that it got a little tricky since I don’t read a lot of books that take place in different worlds so I included some that take place in times/places that I wouldn’t want to live in.

  1. Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins – There’s nothing good about a world that pits teenagers in a televised contest to the death.
  2. Delirium series by Lauren Oliver – Love as a disease?  Not cool…
  3. Divergent series by Veronica Roth – Being forced to choose a faction, serums that affect your brain, fighting, death – doesn’t sound like all that much fun to me.
  4. The Giver by Lois Lowry – While things do improve some, eventually, in later books, who wants to live in a world without color, beauty, memory, emotion?
  5. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent – Iceland in the early nineteenth century is brutal enough before you consider the whole beheading thing…
  6. Lorien Legacies series by Pittacus Lore – Disgusting aliens shooting up everything and trying to take over the planet so they can ultimately destroy it – need I say more?
  7. Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien – Lots of fighting and really repulsive creature hanging around in creepy places.
  8. I Am A Man by Joe Starita – Being a Native American in this country in the nineteenth century is not something I would recommend.
  9. Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra – Taking place throughout the wars in Chechnya, the brutality and poverty and fear are heartbreaking.
  10. A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park – The story of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, this heartbreaking tale brings forward this horrific war and its effect on the innocent and the children in the country.

Burial Rites

burial ritesBased on the true story of the last woman to be beheaded in Iceland, Burial Rites tells the story of Agnes Magnúsdóttir, a woman accused of joining forces with another maid and a neighboring man to murder her former employer and his companion.  Since there are no prisons nearby in rural Iceland, Agnes is sent to live with a local family while awaiting her execution.  There she will also meet with Tóti, the priest she has inexplicably chosen to be her spiritual adviser.  Initially the family is terrified to have her in their home and Tóti is confused and overwhelmed by her request.  But slowly, as they begin to know her and her story unfolds, their feelings towards Agnes and her plight change.  But will it really matter?  Will it matter to Agnes even if it does not change her fate?

Devastating.  Heart-wrenching.  Brutal.  This is a story that will stick with me for a long time.  I read a lot of books, and I enjoy nearly all of them, but few have had the power to bring me to tears – this one did.  Set against the harsh landscape and life of rural Iceland, this story is heartbreaking.  Yet I found myself quickly turning pages, wanting to know the truth of that night, the night those men were bludgeoned, stabbed, and set ablaze – and wanting to know Agnes’s fate even though I already knew what it would be.  In the end, the way of life, Agnes’s life, and ultimately her death, are brutal.  However, more than the brutality I will remember the fear and the love and the yearning in this woman – the yearning to be loved, to be wanted, to be understood, to find a home, to live.

Title: Burial Rites
Author: Hannah Kent
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Suspense
Pages: 336
Publication:  Little, Brown and Company, September 2013