Top Ten Books of 2014

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish. It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely ladies over there give us book bloggers wonderful and fun topics to create our lists! Check out what others have posted by going over there!

http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com

This week’s topic is –

Top Ten Books I Read in 2014

This was a little hard for me- some books jumped out at me, while others I really had to consider.

1.  Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

2.  Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

3.  The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

4.  The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

5.  Bag of Bones by Stephen King

6.  One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

7.  The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

8.  We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas

9.  The Green Mile by Stephen King

10. Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

What was your ABSOLUTE favorite book of 2014?

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Top Ten Authors New To Me in 2014

17 Comments

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish. It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely ladies over there give us book bloggers wonderful and fun topics to create our lists! Check out what others have posted by going over there!

http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com

This week’s topic is –

Top Ten Authors New to Me in 2014

So, looking over the books I have read so far this year, I am disturbed to find that I really did not read many new authors!  I feel shame and will try better in 2015!

1.  Hannah Kent- Burial Rites

2.  Graeme Simsion- The Rosie Project

3. Gabrielle Zevin- The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

4. Beatriz Williams- The Secret Life of Violet Grant

5. Matthew Thomas- We Are Not Ourselves

6.  Lois Lowry- The Giver

7.  Monica McInerney- Hello From the Gillespies

8. Sherman Alexie- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian

9.  Andra Watkins-To Live Forever- An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis

10.  Priya Parmar- Vanessa and Her Sister

Can you recommend a new author for me?

Make them a STAR- Characters who should get their own book-a Top Ten list

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish. It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely ladies over there give us book bloggers wonderful and fun topics to create our lists! Check out what others have posted by going over there!

http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com

This week’s topic is –

Top Ten Characters You Wish Would Get Their Own Book

1. & 2  from Harry Potter

Sirius Black and Albus Dumbledore

Wouldn’t you love to know more about when Sirius meets James, or gets kicked out of the house by his crazy mother?  And what was Albus like as a kid?  Was he a know it all?

3.  from Macbeth

The Weird Sisters

These ladies are awesome- and pretty funny.

4.  from Rebecca

Mrs. Danvers

How did old Danny get so attached to Rebecca and why?

5. & 6.  from Lord of the Rings

Tom Bombadil and Legolas

I can’t even explain who Bombadil is- he just always was. Legolas now looks like Orlando Bloom in my mind, so of course I want more.

7.  from To Kill a Mockingbird

 Miss Maudie Atkinson

Why is she so nice?  Why isn’t she married?  Will she marry Atticus?  Buy Scout a dress?

8.  from The Stand

Ralph Bretner

We know more about the others who head West, but not much about Ralph.  Who was he before the plague?

9.  from Gone With the Wind

Ellen Robiard O’Hara

How did this elegant woman marry Gerald O’Hara?  How did she produce a child like Scarlet?

10.  from Jane Eyre

Bertha Mason

I need to know more about this crazy beauty.  Was she ever sane?  Did she want to marry Edward?

I Wish I Could Go There- a Top Ten List

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish. It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely ladies over there give us book bloggers wonderful and fun topics to create our lists! Check out what others have posted by going over there!

http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com

This week’s topic is –

Top Ten Places I would love to visit from Books (real or fictional)

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1.  New Orleans- from almost every Anne Rice book.

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2.  Rivendell- to hang out at the last homely house with Elrond

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3.  Hogwarts from the HP series

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4.  Paris, 1920s- Fitzgerald

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5.  Pemberley- from Pride & Prejudice

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6.  Hobbiton from The Lord of the Rings

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7.  Tara Plantation from Gone With the Wind

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8.  Italy- really Naples, from Eat, Pray, Love

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9. The South of France from Tender is the Night

Where do you wish you could visit?

Packing my Beach Bag- a Top Ten List

8 Comments

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish. It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely ladies over there give us book bloggers wonderful and fun topics to create our lists! Check out what others have posted by going over there!

http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com

This week’s topic is-

Top Ten Books I Want in my Beach Bag this summer!

I can’t say exactly why I picked the following books- some I just liked the cover, the themes of beaches, friendships, and weddings, etc.  I find I need a book I can put down and pick up more often than I usually like to, in the summer (I guess I need to read as much King as I can before summer starts!)

So, without too much thought, here are the books I thought looked like good beach reads-

What is going into your beach bag?

Those who do not know history….a Top Ten list

20 Comments

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish.  It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely ladies over there give us book bloggers wonderful and fun topics to create our lists!  Check out what others have posted by going over there! http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com

This week’s topic is-

 Top Ten All Time Books in X Genre

I have chosen Historical Fiction as my genre.  What is historical fiction?  It is fiction “written in a setting drawn from history and often containing historical persons” (thanks Wikipedia).  This is the way I view historical fiction, but lots of lists include an alarming number of books that include much bosom heaving and words like Queen and Princess in the titles.  While I like heaving breasts and rippling muscles as much as the next gal, I do not usually count that as historical fiction, therefore my list doesn’t contain any.

1.  Gone With the WInd

by Margaret Mitchell

Ok, there is much romance and drama here, but, at it’s very core, GWTW is historical fiction at it’s best.

Set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Civil War, Margaret Mitchell’s epic love story is an unforgettable tale of love and loss, of a nation mortally divided and its people forever changed. At the heart of all this chaos is the story of beautiful, ruthless Scarlett ‘O’ Hara and the dashing soldier of fortune, Rhett Butler.

2.  Burr

by Gore Vidal

I loved this book when I read it in college.  Vidal brought Arron Burr to life.

Burr is a portrait of perhaps the most complex and misunderstood of the Founding Fathers. In 1804, while serving as vice president, Aaron Burr fought a duel with his political nemesis, Alexander Hamilton, and killed him. In 1807, he was arrested, tried, and acquitted of treason. In 1833, Burr is newly married, an aging statesman considered a monster by many. Burr retains much of his political influence if not the respect of all. And he is determined to tell his own story. As his amanuensis, he chooses Charles Schermerhorn Schuyler, a young New York City journalist, and together they explore both Burr’s past and the continuing political intrigues of the still young United States.

3.  The Scarlet Letter

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

My heart ached for Hester, stuck with all of those Puritans.

Set in the harsh Puritan community of seventeenth-century Boston, this tale of an adulterous entanglement that results in an illegitimate birth reveals Nathaniel Hawthorne’s concerns with the tension between the public and the private selves. Publicly disgraced and ostracized, Hester Prynne draws on her inner strength and certainty of spirit to emerge as the first true heroine of American fiction. Arthur Dimmesdale, trapped by the rules of society, stands as a classic study of a self divided.

4.  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

by  Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows

I loved this story of life on the small English island during and after WWII.

“ I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.”January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

5.  The Red Tent

by Anita Diamant

This reading this book really did something to me.  It affected me.  I didn’t want the story to end.

Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that are about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons. Told in Dinah’s voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood–the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of her mothers–Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah–the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through a hard-working youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah’s story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past. Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women’s society.

6.  The Poisonwood Bible

by Barbara Kingsolver

I love stories that take place in colonial Africa.  The way the author tells the story through the women of the family is priceless, especially the voice of the eldest daughter.

The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it — from garden seeds to Scripture — is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

7.  The Name of the Rose

by Umberto Eco

This was a great book and a pretty terrific movie with the ever delicious Sean Connery and Christian Slater.

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon—all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where “the most interesting things happen at night.”

8.  The House of the Spirits

by Isabel Allende

I wasn’t 100% sure if I could categorize this as historical fiction, but I am going to give it a shot.  I feel that the author pours so much of her own history into her work and that is especially true in her first, and best novel.  The story follows the Trueba family and traces the post colonial social and political upheavals of Chile.  I read it years ago, and I think it is time of a reread.

In one of the most important and beloved Latin American works of the twentieth century, Isabel Allende weaves a luminous tapestry of three generations of the Trueba family, revealing both triumphs and tragedies. Here is patriarch Esteban, whose wild desires and political machinations are tempered only by his love for his ethereal wife, Clara, a woman touched by an otherworldly hand. Their daughter, Blanca, whose forbidden love for a man Esteban has deemed unworthy infuriates her father, yet will produce his greatest joy: his granddaughter Alba, a beautiful, ambitious girl who will lead the family and their country into a revolutionary future.

9.  The Historian

by Elizabeth Kostova

A long book, but well worth it.  A story within a story, within a story, all leading to Vlad the Impaler.

Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to ‘My dear and unfortunate successor’. Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of – a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history

10.  One Hundred Year of Solitude

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

This is one of the most amazing (and at times confusing) historical fiction novels.  You will be sweet away by this lyrical tale.

One of the 20th century’s enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world, and the ultimate achievement of a Nobel Prize winning career.
The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the family. It is a rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.

Authors I haven’t had the pleasure to read yet

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish.  It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely ladies over there give us book bloggers wonderful and fun topics to create our lists!  Check out what others have posted by going over there! http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com

This week’s topic is-

Top Ten Authors That I’ve Never Read

This was actually pretty hard for me, because I will try almost any author once.  Plus, I have been reading for over 30 years, so I have had a chance to hit upon plenty of authors.  The one big one I had been missing was Stephen King, and I managed to finally read two of his books this part year.  I wonder who I can knock off this list in 2014?

1.  Neil Gaiman

I know there was a lot of talk about his recent The Ocean at the End of the Lane, but this is someone who has not been on my radar.

2.  Mark Twain

This is a ? for me, because I am almost convince that I must have been forced to read something of his along the way, but I really don’t remember, so he’s on the list.

3.  Orson Scott Card

I keep hearing how Ender’s Game was so good, but never picked it up.  Plus, he seems like an ass, so not too keen on it.

4.  Jack Kerouac

On the Road, right? I don’t know why, but the beat generation never appealed to me when I was younger.  And now that I am older, I think I might be too grumpy to appreciate it.  Backaches make old people grumpy.

5.  Sylvia Plath

This one shames me quite a bit.  It is on my list- actually it is on a few lists of mine- TBR, Classics Club, Women’s Lit.  I WILL READ IT.    (It just seems so depressing)

6.  Diana Gabaldon

This one isn’t my fault.  Every time I go to my library, it is out.  I actually requested it once, but after waiting almost 2 months, I cancelled the request.  Very frustrating, almost like it doesn’t want me to read it.  Yes, I believe that some books want you to read them and some do not.

7.  D.H. Lawrence

I have never read Lady Chatterly’s Lover.  When I was younger, I thought it was the book equivalent to Cinemax at night (you know, Skinemax).  That impression just stayed with me.  Does anyone recommend it?

8.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Ashamed of this one too.  And it is also on the list.  At least I have goals, right?

9.  Ken Follett

Again, not really my fault.  I bought The Pillars of the Earth.  It is still on my bookshelf.  But the font is SO SMALL, that I would need a giant magnifying glass to read it.

10.  George Orwell

Ugh.

I know, I know.  I did read excerpts from 1984 for a course I took, but I have never actually read any of his books.  I know I am repeating myself, but they too are on the list.