Tuesday Top Ten

top ten history

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 pick a particular setting and then list our favorite books in that setting.  Since my book choices tend to be all over the place I chose to list my favorite books that take place in the past, that have some type of historical setting.

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – Masterfully crafted (in case I haven’t said it enough!) story that takes place in Germany during WWII.
  2. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys – Moving story about a Lithuanian family taken by the Russians during WWII.
  3. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys – I loved the characters in this novel that takes place in French Quarter of New Orleans in 1950.
  4. Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra – Beautiful yet horrible story about the wars in Chechnya.  OK, so much of the story does not take place too far back in history (1994-2004), but there is much to be learned about the history of the area through this novel.
  5. The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty – A great look at the early twentieth century as Cora becomes a chaperone to the young Louise Brooks in New York City before she becomes a silent film star.
  6. A Good American by Alex George – An epic novel following three generations of a family beginning with their immigration in 1904.
  7. Thieves of Book Row by Travis McDade – An amazing story of a ring of book thieves during the Great Depression.
  8. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power  by Jon Meacham – One of my favorite figures in American history and a engrossing portrait of his life.
  9. Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick – A masterful work of art and a touching novel which travels back and forth between New York City in 1927 and Minnesota in 1977.
  10. Onion Street by Reed Farrel Coleman – A gritty detective novel set in 1960’s Brooklyn by one of my favorite mystery authors.

Tuesday Top Ten

top ten recognition

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 authors that I think deserve more recognition.  That doesn’t mean that they don’t get any recognition, I just think they should get more.  It also doesn’t necessarily mean that they are writing the greatest literature of our time (although some are), just that I think they are being overlooked.   Oh, and I only came up with 9, although I am sure there are more I’m just not recognizing…

Authors of my 3 Favorite Mystery Series:

Louise Penny – Her Inspector Gamache series is simply amazing and she should always be at the top of the NY Times bestseller list!

Reed Farrel Coleman – His gritty Moe Prager novels are the best of the best and shouldn’t be missed by any mystery fan.

Kate Carlisle – My favorite cozy mystery series – The Bibliophile Mysteries combine two things I love – books and mysteries.  These books are a step above many of the cozy mysteries out there.

YA Authors:

Patrick Ness – His Chaos Walking series is suspenseful and dark and well-written.  Fans of dystopian fiction should give them  a try – they are as good or better than other series out there.

Rainbow Rowell – I read Eleanor & Park and fell in love – I hope to see much more from this writer and hope she gets overwhelmed with recognition.

Markus Zusak – The Book Thief should be required reading in every high school, until that happens, and until he is recognized as having written the next classic novel, no amount of recognition will be enough!

Adult Authors:

Eoin Colfer – His Artemis Fowl series received a great deal of attention, but I would like to see him receive more for his adult series featuring Daniel McEvoy.

Anthony Marra – A Constellation of Vital Phenomena was amazing and I can’t wait to read more from him!

Robin Sloan – One of my favorite books of the year – Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore was a funny, quirky story of a quest for immortality.  Anticipating what comes next!

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!

Onion Street

onionstreetI am a huge fan of this series by Reed Farrel Coleman.  These gritty novels follow the life of former NYPD-turned PI Moe Prager through a number of cases, romances, marriages, tumultuous relationships with his brother and his daughter, and ultimately with himself.  Onion Street is a prequel of sorts to the rest of the series.   After attending the funeral of his childhood friend, Bobby Friedman, Moe relates the story of his youth to his daughter, detailing the series of events that led him to a life as a detective.

The story he tells takes place in 1967 Brooklyn with Moe as a directionless college student, wandering through his days.  That all changes when his girlfriend is mugged, ending up in a coma, and it becomes apparent that Bobby’s life is also in danger.  Enlisting his friend Lids (a drug-dealing genius who has suffered a nervous breakdown), Moe sets out to find out what’s behind these attacks.  His inquiries will take him to a run-down appliance store, the airport, Brighton Beach, and the Catskills.  Along the way to discovering the truth Moe encounters grieving parents, radical college students, mobsters, Holocaust survivors, drug addicts, and police detectives.

I have been waiting for the next Moe Prager novel for a long time and Onion Street did not disappoint.  The descriptions of 1967 Brooklyn are dirty, dusty, dangerous, adding to the grittiness of the story.  As with all of the Moe Prager novels, as in life, people are not always who you thought they were, right and wrong are not easy to discern, the answers do not come easily. It is a world of gray.

“No, this was Brooklyn. We liked our scars. We wore our failures with pride. We lived in a world of what used to be and what would be no more.”

Title:  Onion Street
Author: Reed Farrel Coleman
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 320
Publication: Tyrus Books, May 2013

Top Ten Authors on My Auto-Buy 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 the challenge is to list the authors that we love, and love enough to hand over our hard-earned cash anytime they publish something, anything.  My list is all over the place, just like my reading interests, but these are the ones that will get my cash no matter what…

  1. Markus Zusak – After reading The Book Thief, I devoured everything he has ever published and would be the first in line for anything else he ever writes!
  2. John Green – I have really been moved by all of his books and collaborations, they’ve made me laugh and they’ve made me cry, and they have all stayed with me when I was done reading. Fault in our Stars, An Abundance of Katherines, Looking for Alaska and Will Grayson, Will Grayson being among my favorites…
  3. David Levithan – I have not had the chance to read all of his stuff, but I thought every day was fantastic, and I loved his collaboration with John Green (did I already say that??)
  4. Ruta Sepetys – Great historical fiction for a young adult audience.  She does a fantastic job of transporting you to a different time and place.  Just started Out of the Easy and I am already hooked!
  5. Eoin Colfer – I got hooked with the Artemis Fowl series which I read with my husband and son, and have moved on to read his other works, all which were engaging.
  6. Louise Penny – Her Inspector Gamache series has to be my favorite series of all time.  The character development, settings, stories, relationships, everything, is nearly perfect and I eagerly await the next book, How the Light Gets In, coming out in August!
  7. Reed Farrel Coleman – I originally became a huge fan of his gritty series about ex-NYC cop Moe Prager and can’t wait until he writes another!  I also really enjoyed his recent novel, Gun Church. 
  8. Janet Evanovich – Might be lightweight reading, done in an afternoon, but her she always makes me laugh out loud, particularly in her Stephanie Plum series!
  9. Kate DiCamillo – Her books are my favorites to read out loud to my kids, Tale of Despereaux, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Because of Winn Dixie are our favorites, but there are none that we didn’t all love as a family!
  10. Thich Nhat Hanh – OK, he hasn’t been on my auto-buy list yet, but I really want him to be!  He writes a lot, so it would be tough to make sure that I always kept up with it, but everything that I have read of his I found to be insightful and thought provoking.