Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books Written In The Past 10 Years That I Hope People Are Still Reading In 30 Years

1. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Stiefvater’s lilting prose and honest characterizations mark her work as a cut above the typical young adult fare. This story of a seaside community whose residents participate in annual water horse races is a beautiful yet disturbing take on an original folk tale.
2. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Gruen’s tale of a young veterinarian who joins the circus by luck of circumstance is simple yet moving, and though the characters don’t break any new ground, her lush descriptions of circus life will make you yearn to leave behind the ordinary trappings of your own life.
3. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Honestly, anything published under Gaiman’s name should be required reading thirty years from now, but since my favorite adult novel of his, Neverwhere, was published more than ten years ago, I’ll stick with this lovely children’s story for purposes of this list. Gaiman’s work in eminently readable by adults and children alike.
4. The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta
Another author whose entire catalogue should be required reading, it was difficult to choose just one Marchetta. The story of Tom Mackee and his broken family is my favorite of her books. It’s painful, difficult to read at times, but always gently, brutally truthful.
5. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
I still haven’t read The Book Thief, but I don’t need to in order to know the strength of Zusak’s writing. Ed Kennedy is one of the most relatable everyman narrators I’ve had the pleasure of reading. His story is at once funny and inspiring.
6. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
Allen’s writing is cotton candy rather than a main course, but that doesn’t lessen its blissful impact. She has a real way with words; you’ll want to visit every quirky town she describes and indulge in each delectable dish the characters create. Fiction needs some levity and pure fairy tale happiness.
7. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Years after first reading this book, I still haven’t healed the massive hole it punched in my heart. It takes a bit of work to get into the swing of the narrative, but once you are immersed in it, it’s difficult not to get wrapped up in the grand arc of Claire and Henry’s story.
8. Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
Levithan’s image of a high school life where gay is the norm might seem somewhat conspicuous in its improbability, but once that tableau is accepted as a magical realist backdrop, the tale that unfolds is heartwarming and totally familiar. And Infinite Darlene just might be one of the secondary characters most deserving of her own novel.
9. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
It’s not my personal favorite of his, but I believe it’s nonetheless Green’s best work to date. His impossibly witty, pop-culture laden dialogues are unlikely to be exchanged between real teenagers, but it doesn’t matter, because Green understand the human experience in a way that transcends age.
10. The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner
This one might be cheating a bit since the first two were published more than ten years ago, but since it’s still ongoing I’m going to include it. I’ve yet to come across another author who has utilized such a wide range of literary techniques to consistently fool readers while simultaneously staying completely true to her own style and to her characters. Gen is one of my favorite literary characters ever, and his story is deserving of a spot on everyone’s reading list.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Favorite Quotes From Books

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

“I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you — especially when you are near to me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous Channel, and two hundred miles or so of land, come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapped; and then I’ve a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly.”

2. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

“He had noticed that events were cowards: they didn’t occur singly, but instead they would run in packs and leap out at him all at once.”

3. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”‘

4. Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling

“Though you thrust your dagger at my eyes, I will not flinch.”

5. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

“Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.”

6. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

“I was suddenly struck by how dissimilar we were. It occurred to me that if Grace and I were objects, she would be an elaborate digital clock, synced up with the World Clock in London with technical perfection, and I’d be a snow globe – shaken memories in a glass ball.”

7. Blood Magic by Eileen Wilks

“What was romance but a lovely bit of play between man and woman?”

8. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

“Nothing was happening, really, but the moment was thick with mattering.”

9. Roadkill by Rob Thurman

“Pick up your clothes. I am not your maid. How do I know this? A maid cannot kill you with a tube sock. I can. ”

10. XVII (I do not love you…) by Pablo Neruda

“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a meme created at the blog of the same name that poses a different question about reading each week.

This week’s questions is:

Two people asked a similar question:

Charlie Quillen asks:

Has a book ever inspired you to change anything in your life, fiction or non-fiction alike?

Lindsay asks:

There have been books I loved, books that I fell in love with, and books that changed my life, and they’re not always the same nor mutually exclusive.

I’ve lost count of the number of times that this book has surfaced as the answer to a question, but I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak remains inspiring to me each time I read it. I am a cynical person by nature, yet Zusak’s story makes me want to shed that flaw. While I know I don’t always, or often, succeed, it makes me strive nonetheless.

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a meme created at the blog of the same name that poses a different question about reading each week.

This week’s questions is: If someone asked you for a book recommendation, what is the FIRST book you’d think to recommend (without extra thought)?

It might seem like a copout to a veritable Sophie’s Choice of a question, but I can’t begin to think of book recommendations until I know the literary taste of whomever is asking. There are so many books gracing my shelves that I love with all my heart, yet I know, for instance, that the market for a series such as Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels books is pretty limited, no matter how much I love them.

That being said, I only hesitate to recommend Markus Zusak’s I Am the Messenger for fear that others won’t connect with it the same way that I do. Likewise, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman is among my top choices no matter what genre you typically read, while Rob Thurman’s Cal Leandros series is a solid bet for those who enjoy urban fantasy. The chances of my answering this question with only one book title were slim to begin with, so I’ll refrain from going on (which I could, easily).

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a meme created by Kristi over at The Story Siren to share new book acquisitions, whether bought, gifted, received for review, borrowed, or won.

Bought

  • Illusion by Paula Volsky
  • Shadows Return by Lynn Flewelling
  • Mélusine by Sarah Monette
  • Sorcery and Cecilia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
  • Beauty by Robin McKinley
  • Black Night by Christina Henry
  • Of Darkness, Light, and Fire (Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light & The Fire’s Stone) by Tanya Huff
  • Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce
  • Jenna Starborn by Sharon Shinn
  • Tangled Webs by Anne Bishop
Gifted
  • Archangel by Sharon Shinn
  • The Seer and the Sword by Victoria Hanley
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Glimpses by Lynn Flewelling
  • Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a meme created at the blog of the same name that poses a different question about reading each week.

This week’s questions is:

Have you ever used a book to instruct someone of something or is there anyone for whom you would like to do that? (I don’t mean a text book for a class, but a work of fiction or non-fiction that would get a certain message across either through plot or character). What is the book and what do you wish to impart?

I rarely recommend books to friends or family. Because my affinity for reading is such an important part of who I am, giving a treasured book to someone in the hope that they will love it as much as I did is too akin to baring my soul. Their rejection would be personal. That being said, I have gifted one book to several people and braced myself for their reactions because the book was simply too beautiful to keep to myself. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak strikes at the heart of my cynical nature to make me want to be better. It showcases the awesomeness of even the most simple of human interactions. It is agonizingly perfect, and while not everyone I’ve given it to has loved it in the same way I do, I like to think that they took away at least a degree of hope.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books I’d Quickly Save If My House Was Going To Be Abducted By Aliens

The following are but a sampling of my favorite books, because it would be impossible for me to pick only ten to save. I’m sure there are many that should be included yet that eluded my mind for the time being.

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

2. The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop

3. Fever series by Karen Marie Moning

4. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

5. The China Garden by Liz Berry

6. The Pride of the Peacock by Victoria Holt

7. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

8. What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones

9. Society Girl Series by Diana Peterfreund

10. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books That Broke Your Heart A Little

1. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

This book ruined me for all other books for a month. I couldn’t contemplate even attempting to immerse myself in a new novel after having experienced Henry and Clare’s heartbreaking love story.

2. Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning

Had I not started this series after all five books were complete and available in stores, the last chapter of this book would have been my undoing.

3. The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

Shortly after the start of this second book in Gen’s story, he experiences something that is unexpected and tragic. I applaud Turner for taking a chance, yet my heart ached for Gen’s loss.

4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I won’t begin to summarize why this book broke my heart, for anyone who is a Green fan is aware of the beautiful agony that this story creates.

5. Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

This first book in Frost’s fantastic paranormal series broke new ground in more ways than one, not the least of which was her willingness to end the book on an unconventionally ambiguous note.

6. Aftermath by Ann Aguirre

Throughout the Sirantha Jax series, Aguirre has portrayed a protagonist who has grown exponentially as she has struggled to cope with one tragedy after another. Aguirre accomplishes a rare feat in writing Sirantha’s development, for her progress never comes across as contrived, which makes her struggles all the more heartwrending.

7. The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta

Tom Mackee’s story is uncomfortable yet poignant as he reluctantly sheds an exterior hardened by five years of uncertainty and loss. Even as we witness Tom’s slow reemergence into the lives of his family and friends, we know that some things might be beyond repair, but that doesn’t prevent us from hoping for a happy resolution.

8. A Separate Peace by John Knowles

I doubt I will ever recover from the shock ending of this novel, though the experience of reading it will remain with me forever.

And perhaps it’s a bit unorthodox, but even though I’ve yet to read the next two books, I’ve no doubt they would be on this list had I read them already, so I’m including them.

9. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

While I’m excited to read this title based on the fabulous reviews I’ve read, I have no doubt that my heart will be aching by book’s end.

10. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I have been putting off reading this book for too long, though I’m sure my tears will be unbearable.

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a meme created at the blog of the same name that poses a different question about reading each week.

This week’s questions is: If you had to pick only 5 books to read ever again, what would they be and why?

 1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
This book has been my constant companion since the fourth grade. If I had to pick only one
book to read over and over for the rest of my life, Jane and Rochester’s story would be it.
2. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Gaiman’s writing is seductively bizarre, dragging you into strange new worlds alongside his everyman heroes. The Marquis de Carabas is one of my favorite literary characters.
3. The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop
I have all three books in an omnibus edition, so this counts as only one book. It might be gloriously, gratuitously self-indulgent feminism in a sado-masochist fantasy disguise, but the story is compelling and the characters some of the most complex and sympathetic that I’ve had the pleasure of reading.
4. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Ed Kennedy makes me aspire to be a better person. Zusak’s depiction of humanity’s latent beauty makes me strive to shed my cynicism.
5. The China Garden by Liz Berry
Berry’s story is simple and lovely and atmospheric. It’s not the best story ever told, but it never fails to transport me, which is what literature should do.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is Freebie week, so I’ve decided to post: Top Ten Books Told from a Male POV

1. Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman

No one does snark like Thurman, and it’s been a long, rewarding journey to witness Cal’s slow maturation.

2. Curse Workers series by Holly Black

Cassel reminds me of a younger, less bitter version of Thurman’s Cal, which is probably why I was immediately drawn to his humorously cynical narration.

3. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Gen is a brilliant narrator, for he never lies to his audience, but he is always conscious of how much he allows us to see.

4. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Holden Caulfield’s frustration and yearning have characterized teen angst for decades, yet his outlook still resonates.

5. The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta

Tom’s slow progression out of his brokenness shattered my own heart several times before he finally reached contentment.

6. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

Ed is eminently relatable as he struggles to infuse meaning into his own life and the lives of those around him.

7. Paper Towns by John Green

While this might be my least favorite Green book as far as plot goes, I appreciated how Quentin’s voice displayed Green’s usual nerdy self-conscious elitism while still somehow sounding like it could come from the mind of a high school boy.

8. Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

Paul is a delightful narrator to guide the reader through Levithan’s magical realist world in which being gay is the norm and acceptance applies not toward one’s orientation, but rather toward one’s persona.

9. A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Many readers can relate to Gene’s alternating reverence and jealousy toward Phineas, especially as high school friendships often represent more than their appearance suggests.

10. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Clay’s confusion and heartache resonate without overwhelming the underlying plot, thus allowing readers to navigate the complex story Asher is trying to tell.