Tuesday Top Ten

gateway

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 and/or authors that were gateways in my reading journey, ones that introduced me to a new genre, reinvigorated my interest in reading, somehow changed or affected my reading journey.

  1. Dystopian Books – The Giver by Lois Lowry – My first foray into dystopian novels, The Giver will always be my first and my favorite!
  2. Young Adult – Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson – It wasn’t my first YA book, but the first one that dealt so directly with difficult issues that matter to young adults, the first time I realized what great literature exists for teens.
  3. Stories told in a series of books – Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling –  They’re everywhere!  Prior to this series, I don’t ever remember reading books where you needed to wait until the series was complete to be able to finish the story! I do love many of these series, I just have taken a vow not to start one until all of the books are released so I don’t have to wait so long between pieces of the story!
  4. Historical Non-Fiction – Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham – Historical non-fiction has never really been my thing – I don’t want to read the equivalent of a high school social studies textbook – but this book proved that there was historical fiction out there that would tell me a story while teaching me about the past.
  5. Current Non-Fiction – Born to Run by Christopher McDougall – Too much of current non-fiction is just someone trying to turn their opinions into fact or someone trying to catch the wave of popularity associated with the issue or personality of the day.  But this story grabbed my interest and held it, teaching me about the past and the present.
  6. Mysteries – Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene – Giving credit where credit is due, Nancy and the gang were my first introduction to the mystery genre, one that I still love today.
  7. Cozy Mysteries – Kinsey Milhone series by Sue Grafton – My first cozy mystery series, there are still a number that I regularly read and enjoy – they are always a fun, quick escape!
  8. Detective Stories – Moe Prager series by Reed Farrel Coleman – Another part of the progression, the jump to grittier detective stories, this series continues to be a favorite.  It will be bittersweet when the last book comes out next month.
  9. Historical Fiction – A Good American by Alex George – I had not read historical fiction in a long time, didn’t really consider it a genre that I liked that well, until I read this and now I find myself reading all kinds of historical fiction!
  10. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – The book the reinvigorated and affirmed my love for the written word.  The funny thing?  I walked by it in the bookstore for months, picked it up and put it back down, before I finally decided to give it a try – and it is my favorite book.
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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.

Tuesday Top Ten

top ten Maddy

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 we would recommend to a particular person.  I picked my 12-year old daughter for a couple of reasons.  I love to share books with her, to read the same things and then take the time out to talk about them.  And I think being a 12-year old girl is exceedingly difficult – as a time of transition it is a time when it can be hard to pick things to read that are interesting, challenging, and appropriate.  To be completely honest, some of these she has already read, or I have already read them to her, but I couldn’t leave them off the list!  And my list for her is actually much, much longer – as is my own list – if only there were more hours in the day!

  1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – A wonderfully fantastic and engaging series with kids who are in the middle of growing up – just like she is… (although I try to deny it!)
  2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – My favorite book of all time, and one that I think she is now mature enough to understand and enjoy.
  3. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery – One of my favorite series when I was a kid and I think she would connect with the spunky main character.
  4. All Creatures series by James Herriot – This series would appeal to my daughter – a real country girl and animal lover whose wondering if her heart is too soft for veterinary work.
  5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – Just because it was my favorite book through my childhood.
  6. Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter – Tough girls – teenage spies – with just enough romance thrown in to cause a blush…
  7. The Giver series by Lois Lowry – She has read The Giver, and loved it, so I’m hoping she will like to see the rest of the story unfold.
  8. Allegiant by Veronica Roth – My motive here is selfish – she’s reading it now and I want her to finish so I can read it!
  9. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell – We’ve been promising to read this one together for a while now, but we need to actually do it!
  10. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith – A classic, and a story about a strong girl overcoming the odds.

 

Tuesday Top Ten

top ten forced

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 we were “forced” to read – either for class, a book club, or because some friend insisted that it was the best book ever!  All of mine come from coursework, whether during high school, undergrad classes, or my MLIS classes.  These are the books that I probably never would’ve read on my own, but ended up being favorites because someone forced me to read them! Great books I was forced to read in high school:

  1. East of Eden and The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck – I had an English teacher when I was a sophomore who was a huge fan of Steinbeck, and now I am too!
  2. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – Probably my favorite of all of Dickens’s novels.
  3. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare – My first attempt at Shakespeare when I was a freshman in high school, and the first time that I realized how wonderful his stories are, and how readable they can be.
  4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – Didn’t everybody read it in high school?  And didn’t everyone love it?
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – Still one of my all time favorites!

Great books I was forced to read in my college:

  1. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf – The writing is so beautiful and lyrical.
  2. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison – My first exposure to Toni Morrison’s powerful work.
  3. The Giver by Lois Lowry – This was required reading for my young adult literature course, and became one of my YA favorites.
  4. Maus I & II by Art Spiegelman – I’ve never been into graphic novels, but this was also part of my YA literature course and I was captivated.
  5. America by E.R. Frank  – Another book from my YA lit class, and also the most difficult book I have every read, but also one of the most powerful.

Tuesday Top Ten

top ten series enders 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 best and/or worst book series endings.  This was tough for me, because although it seems like I read a lot of series, I generally don’t have that strong of an opinion on how they end…  But I did what I could…  What series endings did you love/hate?

First, the best:

  1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – OK, probably everybody picked this one, but I don’t care.  The only thing disappointing about this ending was that it was the end.
  2. Delirium by Lauren Oliver – I know some people were disappointed in the ending of this series, but I liked its relative realism – everything doesn’t always get wrapped up tidily!
  3. Pendragon by D.J. MacHale – If you’ve never heard of this series, it’s worth checking out if you are a fan of young adult or fantasy fiction.  I enjoyed it all the way through, even to the ending.
  4. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer – In my opinion, the series got a little weak in the middle, but all the things that made me love Artemis were back for the final book!
  5. The Giver by Lois Lowry – Finally!  All of our questions are answered!  I though the final book did a great job of bringing all of the other disparate stories back together and telling the story from a different point of view.
  6. Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness – An engrossing series, amazing from beginning to end!

Now, the worst:

  1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer –OK, the whole series was ridiculous, but at least it was entertaining.  Unfortunately, there’s a point where it just got too ridiculous…
  2. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – I LOVED Hunger GamesCatching Fire got there eventually – but I found Mockingjay disappointing…
  3. Fallen by Lauren Kate – I liked the series when it started, but by the end I was just annoyed…
  4. Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare – I enjoyed the book, it was a fun read, but really?  Could her decisions have been any easier?  Could it all have come out any more perfectly?