Tuesday Top Ten

top ten wish 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’s challenge was to list the top ten things on our reading wish list, could be books or other bookish things.  Any books on my wish list tend to be extremely specific and hard-to-get – signed first editions and things like that.  Most of my day-to-day reading needs are served by the library and used book sales!

  1. A signed first edition of The Book Thief!  No doubt about it, my #1 item on my wish list!  If I could meet Markus Zusak that would be even better!  🙂
  2. A signed first edition of any of Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache books and another author I would love to actually meet!
  3. The complete collection of Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache books – I got almost all of mine from the library to read…  😦
  4. A continuation of my Indiespensables subscription (hint, hint sweetie!).  What a great way this has been to get introduced to new books and to collect beautiful signed first editions!
  5. More book shelves, preferably built-in, to replace the crappy pressboard ones in my home office.
  6. A special bookcase, with glass doors, for my collectible books – I need a way to keep them dust-free and displayed!
  7. A really cool book-nook in my office for curling up and reading.
  8. A new reading lamp for my office since mine just literally fell apart, crumbled into pieces on my floor – so weird!
  9. Funding for public libraries so they can continue to serve their communities – nothing has the power to inform, educate, or inspire like the written word.  The greatest gift we can give is free access for everyone.
  10. Time to Read!!!

The Death of Bees

ImageFor my birthday last month Todd got me a subscription to Indiespensables from Powell’s Books in Oregon.  Every six weeks I will get a first edition of a new book, signed by the author, in a specially designed slipcase, with extra prizes inside!  Best present ever!  My first installment was going to be The Death of Bees and was shipping on January 31st.  Every day, starting on February 1st, like a little kid waiting for the toy they ordered with cereal box tops, I would run home and check the mailbox.  I was excited about the book, I’m always excited about a book, but I have to admit that I was just as excited about the extra surprise gifts inside.  I’m a sucker for that stuff, and it’s going to be a little like Christmas every six weeks, opening the box to see what Santa (or Powell’s) sent me this time.  Finally it was here (it didn’t take 6-8 weeks, but it sure felt like it!).  I ripped the box open the minute I walked in the door, finding a jar of organic honey, a tube of beeswax lip balm, an ARC for another book, and yes, the main attraction, The Death of Bees, signed, in a beautifully designed slipcover.  I took care of those pesky little things that need doing, feeding the kids, walking the dog, helping with homework, and settled onto the couch with my new book.  And there I stayed, engrossed, until I was done.

I’m not sure I’ve ever read a starker opening paragraph:

“Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard. Neither of them were beloved.”

The book, set in the slums of Glasgow, Scotland, tells the story of two sisters, Nelly and Marnie, and their struggle to stay together while hiding the death of their parents.  Enter the ostracized neighbor Lennie, and it is a story of three people that need each other, a story of a family-formed vs a family-born.  It is a dark tale, sometimes humorous, often horrific, but almost always sad.  Parents don’t always do the best they can by their children, the “system” often fails those it is designed to protect, even the “good guys” are flawed, and the age of innocence never exists for some.  It is a story of secrets, “I’m never getting a tattoo. My secrets are etched safely on the inside and I intend to keep them there.”, and a story of death, “I fear death.  I have always feared death.  It comes like a gale and never with permission.  I would meet it again today.”.  But ultimately The Death of Bees is a story of love, hope, and sacrifice.

    Title: The Death of Bees 
    Author: Lisa O’Donnell
    Genre: Fiction
    Pages: 310
    Publication: HarperCollins, January 2013