Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesdayTop 10 Most Unique Books I’ve Read

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and A Corner of White for their weird parallel worlds…

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Between the Lines and What Alice Forgot for their unusual plots (a book character comes to life/a woman suffers from amnesia and doesn’t recognize the horrible person she’s become)…

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These books had interesting narration… Counting by 7s (a 12-year-old genius), If I Stay (a girl in a coma deciding whether or not she wants to die), and World War Z (lots of narrators all over the world).

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The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck for their unique format (half novel/half illustrations)…

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Gone Girl, because it is the only time a book has shocked me!

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Book Review: Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

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This book is classified as juvenile fiction (ages 10+) but as a youth librarian I like to read juvenile and YA novels sometimes!

Summary from Goodreads: Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life… Until now. Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.

Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars. It was a really sweet book with a lot of great characters. The ending was perfect and I may have even shed a tear!

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Literary Junkies

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1. What are you reading right now? Tell us about it!
Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah. I LOVED his memoir A Long Way Gone so I thought I’d give this book, his first novel, a try. I’m not too far into it, so here’s the Goodreads synopsis: At the center of Radiance of Tomorrow are Benjamin and Bockarie, two longtime friends who return to their hometown, Imperi, after the civil war. The village is in ruins, the ground covered in bones. As more villagers begin to come back, Benjamin and Bockarie try to forge a new community by taking up their former posts as teachers, but they’re beset by obstacles: a scarcity of food; a rash of murders, thievery, rape, and retaliation; and the depredations of a foreign mining company intent on sullying the town’s water supply and blocking its paths with electric wires. As Benjamin and Bockarie search for a way to restore order, they’re forced to reckon with the uncertainty of their past and future alike.

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2. What was your favorite series to read when you were a kid?
I read a lot of the “normal” ones like The Baby-Sitters Club and Fear Street but two series that I was obsessed with that I don’t think were as popular were Sunset Island by Cherie Bennett and Mandie by Lois Gladys Leppard.

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3. The world is ending: What 3 books do you save from your collection in hopes to contribute to whatever new society forms?
My three favorites of course: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

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4. What is your favorite genre to read? Why?
I don’t really care for non-fiction, unless it’s a memoir. Other than that, I like most fiction… Historical fiction, dystopian, fantasy, romance, etc.

5. If you wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
She’s A Wanderer… I love to travel! I am visiting country #36 next week! 🙂

6. What is next on your “to-read” list? Tell us about it!
Yesterday I read an article comparing the books Darkness, Take My Hand by Dennis Lehane and The Cutting Season by Attica Locke to the show True Detective. So maybe one of those!

Teaser Tuesday

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• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

“A block ahead of me, a little girl on a golf cart decorated with flower stickers putt-putted along. She wore her hair in elaborate braids like a little Swiss maid on a cocoa box.”
-p. 98 of Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Book Review: On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

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I picked this one up after someone at work recommended it as her favorite literary love story.

Summary from Goodreads: When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family’s summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day. T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He’s almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn’t bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family – and a stack of overdue assignments – instead of his friends. Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.’s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter. Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.’s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.

Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars. It was a fun, fluffy beach read. I definitely enjoyed it but wouldn’t call it serious literature by any means. Also it was a little annoying how they had to keep reiterating that they hooked up after he turned 18. We get it already…

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Literary Junkies

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1. What are you reading right now? Tell us about it!
I just started On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves. Someone at work recommended it and it has excellent reviews on Goodreads. Here’s their summary: When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family’s summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day. T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He’s almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn’t bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family – and a stack of overdue assignments – instead of his friends. Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.’s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter. Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.’s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.

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2. What books are on your bedside table at the moment?
I returned a bunch of books to the library today that I had read a chapter or two of and lost interest… So now, just On the Island and Lonely Planet’s New Orleans (for my upcoming Mardi Gras trip!!).

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3. Amazon recently released the 100 books to read in a lifetime. What did they miss that you would add?
They got a few right… A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah is my favorite on their list. I would add The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, and Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.

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4. Are there any books being published in 2014 that you are anxiously awaiting? If so, what are they?
The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick, Uganda Be Kidding Me by Chelsea Handler, and Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah.

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5. Name the next three books on your To Be Read list.
I have no idea! Usually I have a few lined up but not at the moment. The TBR list is long though!