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.

 

Advertisements

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 authors title

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 authors that were new-to-me in 2013.  While most of these authors are not new, they were new to me, and these were all books that I loved this year!

top ten new to me authors

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!

Life After Life

lifeafterlifeUrsula 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.  Plagued by ominous feelings, nightmares, and a sense of déjà vu, Ursula manages to live on a bit longer each time by changing situations and making different choices.  You see her as a mother, a friend to Eva Braun, a battered wife, an alcoholic, a warden during the London Blitz, a rape victim, a lover, a friend, a sister, a daughter.

This book reminded me a lot of a choose-your-own-adventure.  Remember those from when we were kids?  Where every time you made a poor decision and your character died you went back to the decision point and chose differently?  While it sounds like it could get monotonous, somehow it did not, instead offering insight into the various aspects of life in England during both world wars, and highlighting the impact that small decisions have on our lives, and on our deaths.  In spite of all that Ursula suffers there is also hope, the hope that she will have yet another chance and things will turn out differently.  Who among us hasn’t occasionally wished for a chance to foresee the consequences of our actions, to somehow know the wrong path, and to have the chance to go back in time and make it right again?

“No point in thinking, you just have to get on with life.  We only have one after all; we should try and do our best.  We can never get it right, but we must try.”

“What if we had a chance to do it again and again, until we finally did get it right? Wouldn’t that be wonderful?”

“I think it would be exhausting.”

Title:  Life After Life
Author: Kate Atkinson
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Pages: 544
Publication: Reagan Arthur Books, April 2013