Tuesday Top Ten

top ten intimidating

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 books that I find most intimidating.  This was a little difficult for me – I’m not typically intimidated by books – just interested or not interested.  I’ve read and loved Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, and Atlas Shrugged.  Length does not intimidate me most times, I am mostly afraid that I will not like a book and some of the lengthy classics listed below require a lot of effort for little gain if I don’t enjoy them and there are so many books out there that I really, really want to read!

  1. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust – 7 volumes and about 4300 pages, need I say more???
  2. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – I loved Anna Karenina, but I have never been inspired to tackle this tome.
  3. Moby Dick by Herman Melville – The idea of an epic struggle with a whale just doesn’t make me want to dive into this one…
  4. Ulysses by James Joyce – I know that it is a 20th century classic and that it is supposed to be beautiful, but I have heard far more about how long and difficult it is…
  5. Complete Works of William Shakespeare – I have read Shakespeare – Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Romeo & Juliet, ... but I just don’t see myself having the focused concentration required to get through it all while appreciating it.
  6. The Bible – I’ve read it, parts of it, just have never attacked reading it from cover to cover – maybe someday.
  7. Paradise Lost by John Milton – Over 10,000 lines of poetry?  Probably not…
  8. Song of Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin – With the HBO series so popular, a lot of people are devouring this series – but the books are so long and there are so many of them, it seems like a commitment I don’t want to make right now!
  9. Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon – Another series with a lot of long books in it… I hear good things, but I’m not reading to dive in yet…
  10. Boring Non-FictionI’ve written plenty of research papers and didn’t like to read my own.  I certainly have no desire to read books that are basically research papers that are hundreds of pages long…

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!

Tuesday Top Ten

toptenbeach

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??

This week’s challenge is to list our top ten beach reads.  We usually vacation at the beach for a week each summer and pre-Nook I was always the one with an entire suitcase of books!  Given the rising cost of checking luggage my Nook is well-used on vacation even if it remains untouched most of the rest of the year. These are the types of things that I like to load onto my Nook before we hit the road!

  1. Beach Books – These are literally books that are about the beach, or set on the beach, or have a beach on the cover…  Books that are light and fluffy and make you think of warm breezes and fruity drinks – Dorothea Benton Frank, Mary Kay Andrews, Elin Hilderbrand, …
  2. Cozy Mysteries – Fun and light mystery series that are a quick read, a return to familiar characters, knowing that the bad guy will get caught by the inept amateur detective in the end!
  3. Old Favorites – Time on the beach is a great time to revisit old favorites – you already know that you love it so I chance to re-immerse yourself in that favored place is always welcome.
  4. Humor – Anything that will make me laugh out loud – Carl Hiassen, Janet Evanovich, …
  5. New Releases – Whatever is on my “just released and I must read it immediately!” list.
  6. Young Adult Series – There are a lot of really fun YA series out there that I just don’t have time to read day-to-day and vacation on the beach is the perfect chance to whip through an entire series!
  7. To-Read List –  All those books that I’ve really wanted to read for a long time but have never gotten around to – sitting on the beach is a great time to start working on the list!
  8. ARCs –  Advance Review Copies – books that are coming out soon that I want to review for purchasing at the library or for my blog.
  9. Whatever my kids are reading –  My kids are both voracious readers and I like to be able to share in what they are experiencing.
  10. Paperbacks – If it’s not on my Nook it’s usually a paperback – and nothing spectacularly significant – just some fun read – a cover or title that caught my eye – thrown into my beach bag.

 

Tuesday Top Ten

toptentravel

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 my favorite books featuring travel, travel of any kind whether it’s airplanes, cars, or by foot – travel across town, through time, or across the world – these are books about travel that I liked.

  1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – Although I found Gilbert’s story annoying in some regards – in reality who can take a  year off to focus on themselves while traveling around the world – I did love the stories of her travels.  Her stories of her time in Italy, India, and Bali were amazing tales of what it’s like to become immersed in different cultures around the world.
  2. Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson – Ginny gets a ticket to London from her deceased aunt along with 13 little blue envelopes that she needs to open at various points throughout her trip.  What will follow is an adventure throughout Europe that will teach her about herself and her aunt and give her new perspectives on life.
  3. The Cliff Walk: A Memoir of a Job Lost and a Life Found by Don J. Snyder – When the author loses his job at Colgate University as a professor, with three kids and another on a way, and receives over 100 rejection letters he ends up building a house in Maine and working as a day laborer to support his family.  Both a personal and a physical journey it was a moving memoir.
  4. Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer Harrer’s memoir tells the story of the time he spent in Tibet after escaping from the British during WWII.  He gains acceptance within the Tibetan culture, ultimately becoming a friend and tutor to the Dalai Lama, fleeing the country with him when the Chinese invaded.  A wonderful and beautiful story with amazing insights into the Tibetan culture.
  5. Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger – One of my favorite novels ever – and if we’re talking about travel why not talk about time travel?  This is the story of Henry, a librarian who travels through time (and not voluntarily) to meet up with Clare, an artist who is living a normal life.  The story of their love, crossing through time, is told artfully.
  6. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck – I love Steinbeck and this is one of my favorites.  A heart-wrenching tale of the Joads during the Great Depression as they are forced to leave their home in Oklahoma and travel to California to seek their future.
  7. On the Road by Jack Kerouac – It’s been a long time since I’ve read this book – but isn’t it the ultimate road-trip book?  Sal and Dean wandering their way across the country, free, hippies, and all the things that sound romantic until you realize they’re really not?  That eventually they tire you out and drag you down?
  8. Born to Run by Christopher McDougallMcDougall provides an engrossing story about ultra-runners, from scientific research to the Tarahumara Indians in an isolated part of Mexico that run hundreds of miles, to a race between those very natives and the world’s best ultra-distance runners.  An interesting story with travels all over the country and an in-depth look at an isolated and private tribe within Mexico
  9. Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye by Rachel Joyce – Harold is recently retired and living in a small English village with his cranky wife when he gets a letter from an old friend who is dying of cancer.  Instead of stopping at the post office to send his response he keeps walking, deciding to walk across the country to deliver it personally.  I found the book to be humorous, poignant, and charming.
  10. Abundance of Katherines by John Green – I have admitted to a love for John Green and this is one of my favorites.  Colin, a former child prodigy, has only dated girls named Katherine (and always with a “K”, never a “C”), and has been dumped by all of them, nineteen times.  He takes off on a road trip with his best friend in search of a provable Katherine Theorem.  What follows is funny and insightful, a story of friendship, love, and figuring out who you are.

Tuesday Top Ten

toptentoughsubjects

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 create a list of the books that you have read that deal with tough subjects.  Interestingly, many of the books on my list ended up being young adult books, while there is plenty that is light and fluffy in the YA genre, teens also deal with a lot of tough issues and there are many books that are beautifully written yet address tremendously difficult subjects.

Young Adult Books:

  1. America by E.R. Frank – One of the most difficult books I have ever read, a boy named America ends up lost within the social service system for over 11 years, ending up in a treatment facility after trying to commit suicide.  The story of his life, the years when he fell between the cracks, is heart-wrenching, raw, and brands your heart.
  2. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson – No one is speaking to Melinda – she called the cops on an end-of-summer party – while she silently tries to come to terms with the fact that she was raped at the very same party.  Bullying, sexual violence, and depression all come together to remind one how awful the teenage years can be for some.
  3. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson – Laurie Halse Anderson writes some really tough teen literature, although she does so beautifully.  Wintergirls is another example and one that I found even more difficult to read than Speak.  Two best friends with terrifying eating disorders, one who dies, and the other who lives while continuing to starve herself and engage in self-mutilation while dealing with her guilt over her friend’s death.  Stark and real, very tough stuff.
  4. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher – Hannah has committed suicide and sends cassette tapes to thirteen of her friends telling them why – and what part they played in her decision to end her life.  Clay Jensen receives one of these tapes and listens to it as he spends the night traveling through Hannah’s life.  A difficult story about guilt and the impact that seemingly small interactions can have on others.
  5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – This story of the Holocaust as told through the life of a young girl in Germany is heart-wrenching.  The characters are so well-developed and so beloved that I felt a greater sense of loss in this book than in any other I have read.
  6. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys Another harrowing story set during World War II, but this time following a 15-year old Lithuanian, Lina, and her family as they are forcibly removed from their country by the Soviets and sent to Siberian work camps.

Adult Books:

  1. Unbroken by Laura HillebrandAs long as I’m talking about stories set during WWII…  This true story of Louis Zamperini had many hopeful moments, displaying the power of human resiliency, but the central parts of the story, during the war and when he was held captive, were horrifying.
  2. With or Without You by Domenica Ruta – Maybe it’s because I’m a mom and because I believe that being a mom is the most important role I will ever play in my life, but books about horrific parents and the impact on their children are always hard for me to read.  This memoir definitely fell into that category for me.
  3. The Dinner by Herman Koch – The disturbing actions of the children in this story, and their parents’ complete lack of moral fiber left me disgusted and disturbed.
  4. Defending Jacob by William Landay – I loved this book, but as a parent I found it very difficult to read.  As a parent, how blind can we be to our children’s faults?  And how far will we go to deny the truth and protect the one that we love more than ourselves?  Tough questions with no simple answers.