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