Top Ten Tuesday: but classics are boring! 

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Top Ten Tuesday is back!! This week The Broke and the Bookish gave us a pretty open topic. All they said was “Top Ten Book recommendations for _________.” This topic can go every which way, and I can’t see what people do with it.

I’m going to stick with the classics and list 10 classics for people who think classics are boring (I’ll also have some honorable mentions at the end, because there are so many!)

Some of these have made it in my top tens before, a few are new, but all of them are books I did not want to put down until I finished them.

1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas 

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Revenge, prison breaks, knife fights, kidnappings, treasure hunts, elaborate parties, and never-ending love…these are only a portion of what you get from The Count of Monte Cristo. While it’s a long book, the action really speeds it along (also the movie is pretty good, even though they change a few things).

2. The Oedipus Cycle by Sophocles

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You want drama? Sophocles will give you drama. The cycle is a combination of three plays written by the greek philosopher, and they are packed with insanity. You have unlikely marriages, accidental murders, and you will learn what happens when you try to trick fate and fortune.

3. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

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I don’t think I have to explain this one. Tolkien masterfully told an epic tale of the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins and their role in the destruction of the ring of power.

4. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

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These witty and sophisticated mysteries are so fun and clever. Each mystery is it’s own chapter, so you don’t have to worry about stopping in the middle of one without getting to the answer, but I promise you, you will want to keep reading.

5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 

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While nothing like the movies, Frankenstein is a genius work full of science, adventures, betrayal, murder, and repentance. It is fast-paced and exciting, and it does not cease to make you think.

6. The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer 

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Hands down, the two most epic tales ever written…also the oldest epics ever written. The Iliad and the Odyssey (if you can get past the poetry) are stories like none other. Their mix of mythology and history give a unique and fascinating tale of the Trojans and the Greeks.

7. The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas

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Affairs, battles, corrupt politicians, assignations (and failed attempts), blackmail, and so much more. The Three Musketeers, in classic Dumas fashion, never stops the action and keeps adventure a top priority.

8. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

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While being a children’s series, The Chronicles of Narnia are entertaining to those of any age. They are quick reads with fantastic characters and plots, always showing the chivalry and honor of the hero’s, and the evil capabilities of the villains.

9. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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This gripping novel tells of the civil rights movement in the deep south. This book isn’t as action packed as the rest in my list, but it never fails to grasp the reader’s attention, all while sharing the history and morals of the author’s childhood.

10. Anything by Agatha Christie  

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Christie never fails to impress me, and her stories are always so entertaining. She will show you that even old books can have some mystery and excitement when it comes to murder. Christie is known as the Queen of Mystery and she has certainly earned that title.

 

Honorable mentions:

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

1984 by George Orwell

The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Top Ten Tuesday: Think about it

Happy tuesday! This is the last week of the Broke and Bookish summer hiatus, so this is that last week of me just making up things to write about 😉 This week I finished a book that contained a lot of philosophical discussion, so I decided to write my top ten about classics that really made me think. Enjoy!

1. Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

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“I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer. Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”

2. The Brother’s Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky 

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“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”

3. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

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“Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world’s original sin. If the cave-man had known how to laugh, History would have been different.”

4. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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“I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.”

5. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho 

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“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

6. 1984 by George Orwell

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“Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

7. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley 

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“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”

8. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

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“It doesn’t make a damned bit of difference who wins the war to someone who’s dead.”

9. Animal Farm by George Orwell

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“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

10. The Giver by Lois Lowry

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“I feel sorry for anyone who is in a place where he feels strange and stupid.”

 

That’s it for this week! What book are on your list that make you think? I’d love to add some more to my list. Next week The Broke and the Bookish are back, so I’ll actually have a real topic up here! Have a great week!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite BFF’s

Happy Tuesday and first day of August! Woah, summer is flying by! I don’t know if the Top Ten Tuesday group is up and running with a new topic this week, so I just went with my own.

I’ve been listening to a lot of The Great Comet of 1812 (the musical) and it got me thinking about literary friendships. If you don’t know, TGC is about a sub-plot in War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, and it deals a lot with friendships. I haven’t actually read War and Peace yet, but I have been so impacted by the friendship of Natasha and Sonya, it made me think of other strong friendships that have impacted me. Enjoy!

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1. Marie-Laure and Werner

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This friendship is sweet and pure. Through the darkness of war this unlikely friendship emerges that brings two children together and shines a light in both of their lives.

2. Anne Shirley and Diana Barry

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 

Is there a more iconic friendship? I think not. Ok, well maybe there is, but not for me. I love these two with all my heart. They taught us the meaning of having a true bosom friend.

3. Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

This classic friendship is one we all grew up on, and it shows the purity of childhood friends. It didn’t matter the class of the kids, or what their background was–if they could have fun together and look out for each other, they could be the best of friends.

4. Frodo and Sam/Merry and Pippin/Legolas and Gimli

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien 

I can never decide which friendship I like the best in this book, so I just put down my three favorite. These pairs prove time and time again the lengths they will go for their friends, and they are examples of the power good friends can give each other.

5. Jo March and Theodore Lawrence

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Clearly the main friendship in this book is that between the sisters, but I have always cherished the friendship between Jo and Teddy. Although, when Jo denied his marriage proposal…yeah, that was tough.

6. Bailey, Poppet, and Widget

The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern

This friendship was, for the most part, a sub-plot in the book, but it became a treasure in itself. Poppet and Widget bring Bailey into their lives without question, and show him a sense of belonging he had never felt before.

7. Theo and Boris

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I did not like this friendship at first because I blamed Boris for most of Theo’s problems, but as I moved further into the story it dawned on me that Boris was of Theo’s most constant friend, and he was always there for him, no matter what.

8. Sherlock Holmes and John Watson

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

Ok, maybe this is the more iconic duo…how can you not love these two? Whether it’s in the books, movies, or tv show, Holmes and Watson never disappoint, and they never fail to show how much their friendship means to each other (even if they show it in odd ways).

9. Liesel and Rudy

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 

This friendship broke my heart because it was so precious. I mean, c’mon, everyone needs a friend who is willing to steal books with you!

 

10. Athos, Porthos, Aramis, & D’Artagnan 

The Three Muskateers by Alexander Dumas

“All for one and one for all!” This friendship is more than a friendship because it is a brotherhood. These men know that friendship means to die for the other, and they are more than willing to do so. It means you can quarrel and you can disagree, but in the end you come together again as one.

 

What are some of your favorite literary bff’s?

 

Top Ten Tuesday: America, hell yeah

Happy Independence Day, fellow Americans! To everyone else, I’m sorry, but I’m going to be a little patriotic today 😉

Since The Broke and the Bookish are taking a little time off (until sometime in August, I think) I’m going to make up my own and do:  Documents or Speeches every American should read.

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1. Declaration of Independence: The document that started it all, which was ratified on, of course, July 4th.

Opening Line: When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

2. The Constitution: This document, the backbone of our government, was put into place after the Constitutional convention in 1787 and then ratified in 1788. It has been amended 27 times and remains the base of all our laws.

Preamble: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

3. The Federalist Papers: This series of articles were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, under the pseudonym of Publius, in order to promote the Constitution. This series of letter’s are very interesting because they show the discussion and the arguments for the Constitution, and they help show a glance into the minds of the founding father’s.

Opening Paragraph: To the People of New York,

AFTER an unequivocal experience of the inefficacy of the subsisting federal government, you are called upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the United States of America. The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the most interesting in the world.

4. The Anti-Federalist Papers: In contradiction to the Federalist Papers, were the Anti-Federalist Papers, which were a series of letters written by other founding father’s who had some problems with the Constitution. These were written under the pseudonyms Cato, Brutus, Centinel, and the Federal Farmer. These works are important because it shows that our country was founded on discussion and debating issues without turning to outrage, and ultimately we were able to come to a peaceful agreement.

Opening Paragraph: When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

5. President George Washington’s Farewell Address: Being the first president of the United States, Washington was the first president to step down from office, which laid the foundation for the presidential term limits we hold in high esteem today.

Opening paragraph: Friends and Citizens:

The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.

6. President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: This speech is one of most famous speeches in U.S. History. It was the first major speech given by Lincoln after the battle of Gettysburg, and it’s purpose was to bring unity and hope to the country and to hopefully bring a swift end to the war.

Opening Line:  Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

7. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have A Dream speech: This speech, given by MLK on Aug. 28, 1963, is the cornerstone of the Civil Right’s movement, and arguably one of the most important speeches ever given in our country.

Excerpt:

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of it’s creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

8. President Roosevelt’s Pearl Harbor Speech: In this speech, president Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke in response to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and asked Congress to declare war, which brought us into World War II.

Opening Line: Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

9. President Bush’s September 11th Speech: While this speech wasn’t long, it had that nation watching. This is the only speech I listed that I can actually remember hearing and watching. It still sticks in my memory and I believe it will as long as I live.

Excerpt: 

These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.

Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

10. President Carter’s Crisis Speech: Given in the 1980’s in the thick of the energy and economic crisis, president Jimmy Carter gave a heartfelt speech about the state of the nation.

Excerpt: 

The confidence that we have always had as a people is not simply some romantic dream or a proverb in a dusty book that we read just on the Fourth of July. It is the idea which founded our nation and has guided our development as a people. Confidence in the future has supported everything else — public institutions and private enterprise, our own families, and the very Constitution of the United States. Confidence has defined our course and has served as a link between generations. We’ve always believed in something called progress. We’ve always had a faith that the days of our children would be better than our own.

 

There you have it, my little America post. Happy Fourth of July everyone!

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books of 2017…so far

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Happy Tuesday! This week The Broke and the Bookish asked us to share our favorite books so far from 2017. This has been a pretty good year so far for me, I’ve listened to a lot of good Audiobooks, read some great books, read some decent books, and read some that I never want to lay eyes on again…anyway, this list was pretty fun to make because I love reliving the ones I really enjoyed!

1. Shades of Magic Series, V.E. Schwab (Counting it as one, don’t hate me)

I just wrote a review on this series, so if you want to read that click here, but basically this series was awesome, and I’m so glad I got over my fear of it being overrated and picked it up!

Opening Line:

“Kell wore a very peculiar coat.”

2. The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis

A classic that changes every time I read it. This book is a satire about a demon-in-training getting advice from his wise uncle about how to corrupt humans. It’s really fantastic. You can read my review for it here.

Opening Line:

“My dear Wormwood,

I note what you are say about guiding your patient’s reading and taking care that he sees a good deal of his materialist friend.”

 

3. The Boys in the Boat, Daniel James Brown

This true story is fascinating and it makes you want to join a rowing team immediately. It tells a rare story of hope and triumph during war. You can read my review for it here.

Opening Line:

“This book was born on a cold, drizzly, late spring day when I clambered over the split-rail cedar fence that surrounds my pasture and made my way through wet woods to the modest frame house where Joe Rantz lay dying.”

4. The Martian, Andy Weir

This book is suspenseful, clever, and completely hilarious. If you liked the movie, there’s a good chance you’ll like the book. If you haven’t seen the movie, well you should watch that too.

Opening Line:

“I’m pretty much f*****.”

5. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

This was one of my “I’m embarrassed I’ve never read it” books, so I decided to just get it over with…and I fell in love. I wasn’t expecting to, but I did and I can’t wait to read it again.

Opening Line:

“1801 — I have just returned from a visit to my landlord–the solitary neighbor that I shall be troubled with.”

6. Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman

Norse literature is one of my all-time favorites, therefore I jumped on this book as soon as I could, and it did not disappoint. I will also say what I always say for a Gaiman book, don’t read it, listen to it, trust me.

Opening Line:

“Many gods and goddesses are named in Norse mythology.”

7. The MaddAdam series, Margaret Attwood

While this series wasn’t my favorite, it was very good and I really enjoyed it. It’s really creepy (as all dystopians should be) and very clever (as most dystopians are…well the good ones anyway). It’s worth a read, and not a very long one for a 3 book series. My review of the series can be found here.

Opening Line:

“Snowman wakes before dawn.”

8. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith

I’ve been telling everyone who will listen to read this book. It took me by force and now I find myself thinking about it all the time. Read this book, it is easily in my top 5 favorite books of all time. My review for it can be found here!

“Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn, New York.”

9. The Great Good Thing, Andrew Klavan

I’ve talked a lot on this blog about how much I dislike memoirs, and it’s true…mostly…The Great Good Thing is one exception. It’s very funny and very eye-opening, and worth the read, even though it is a memoir ;). You can read my review here!

Opening Line:

“The Church of the Incarnation stands on the corner of 35th Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan.”

10. Life of Pi, Yann Martel

This book was very popular when I was in finishing college/starting college, so I never had time to read it, but I finally did earlier this year and I saw why it was such a big deal before. It is a very good book and if you haven’t seen the movie, it’s definitely worth the read. Annnd last but not least, you can read my review here!

Opening Line:

“My suffering left me sad and gloomy.”

 

There you have it, I think those are my favorites so far! Check out The Broke and the Bookish for more Top Ten Lists!

Top Ten Tuesday: Series TBR

I love book series, and I love talking about them, so this Top Ten Tuesday topic by The Broke and The Bookish is just great! I’ve done a couple of these lists already, so I’m going to combine a few of them, plus add a couple more series to the list, because it really never stops growing!

 

Children of the Last Days by Michael O’Brien 

  1. Strangers and Sojourners
  2. Eclipse of the Sun
  3. Plague Journal 
  4. Father Elijah: An Apocalypse
  5. Sophia House
  6. A Cry of Stone
  7. Elijah in Jerusalem

The Dublin Murder Squad by Tana French

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  1. In the Woods
  2. The Likeness
  3. Faithful Place
  4. Broken Harbour
  5. The Secret Place
  6. The Trespasser

Jason Bourne by Robert Ludlum (5/14 listed here)

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  1. The Bourne Identity 
  2. The Bourne Supremacy 
  3. The Bourne Ultimatum 
  4. The Bourne Legacy
  5. The Bourne Betrayal 

Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton

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  1. The Innocence of Father Brown
  2. The Wisdom of Father Brown
  3. The Incredulity of Father Brown
  4. The Secret of Father Brown
  5. The Scandal of Father Brown

The Emigrants by Vilhelm Moberg

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  1. The Emigrants
  2. Unto the Good Land
  3. The Settlers
  4. The Last Letter Home

The Second World War by Winston Churchill

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  1. The Gathering Storm
  2. Their Finest Hour
  3. The Grand Alliance 
  4. The Hinge of Fate
  5. Closing the Ring
  6. Triumph and Tragedy

Peter Grant / Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

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  1. Rivers of London
  2. Moon Over Soho
  3. Whispers Underground
  4. Broken Homes
  5. Foxglove Summer
  6. The Hanging Tree

The Divine Comedy by Dante

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  1. Inferno 
  2. Purgatorio 
  3. Paradiso

Emperor by Conn Iggulden

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  1. The Gates of Rome
  2. The Death of Kings
  3. The Field of Swords
  4. The Gods of War
  5. The Blood of Gods 

Welsh Princes by Sharon Kay Penman

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  1. Here Be Dragons
  2. Falls the Shadow
  3. The Reckoning 

 

Bonus: Series I’m currently reading

Department Q by Jussi Adler-Olsen & Flavia de Luce by Alan Bradley

 

There’s the list! I’m so excited to read everyone else’s list so I can add more series to mine!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Recently added to the TBR list

Today the gals at The Broke and Bookish Blog asked us to make our Top Ten Tuesday about books from a specific genre that we have added to our TBR! This is a really fun challenge because there are so many genre’s out there that all the lists will be incredibly unique. My TBR is all over the place so I decided to do this week’s challenge about Foreign Translated Books on my TBR. 

I’m a sucker for a good translated book, and recently I’ve been eyeing them like crazy–there is something truly magical about reading a book that was written in a different language. The real beauty here is that books are so unique and yet so universal that even when they jump from language to language the ideas and the philosophies can be understood and discussed–ah, the beauty of words. 


1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy 

Every time I look at the beautiful turquoise copy of War and Peace on my bookshelves, my desire to read it grows stronger–what’s stopping me? Well, it’s over 1,000 pages long, that’s what. However, I’ve recently become addicted to the new broadway musical “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812” which is about one of the love stories woven within this massive book. It has made me determined now to pick it up and read it! 

2. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon 

I don’t know much about this book aside from the glowing reviews and the amazing cover. I’m really looking forward to reading it! 

3. The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen

When I heard this book and it’s sequels were similar to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I was sold! I just got it on Audiobook for my trip this weekend, and I’m so excited! 

4. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco 

I have read very few books translated from Italian, and I’m looking forward to seeing the difference in styles, especially compared to old French writers.

5. Laurus by Evgenji Vodolazkin

This is probably my most anticipated read of this year. This is a newer book, but is said to resemble Russian classics in style, philosophy, and complexity. 

6. We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen

This one also had some amazing reviews, plus the description looks so intriguing! 

7. The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo

I’ve been meaning to read more Victor Hugo, and I added this one to the list mainly because I had never heard of it before. It looks beautiful. 

8. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust

This is apparently a book everyone needs to read, and I’ve heard it’s a literary beauty.

9. The Emigrants by Vilhem Moberg

This is a story of a Scandinavian family who immigrants to Canada. I love these types of stories and I’m interested in reading this series and hear their story! 

10. The Big Green Tent by Lyudmilla Ulitskaya

Surprise! Another Russian novel! I have a problem, but it’s definitely a good problem to have! This book, I heard, is terribly sad, yet very good. It is about post-Stalin Russia, which isn’t as common in novels as other time periods in Russia. 

There you have it! My top ten most anticipated translated books! Should I add any others to the list? Let me know! 

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer Freebie

Today for our Top Ten Tuesday, the Broke and Bookish Blog gave us a Summer Freebie. I actually just did a small form of this blog for my Friday Five post last week, so I’m going to try to name books other than the ones on that list.

For my summer freebie, I’m going to do Audiobooks for Your Summer Road Trip. This summer I’m traveling like crazy. I have weddings/bachelorette parties, birthdays, and vacations filling up my calendar, and so I really rely on audiobooks to get me through the long drives. Not all audiobooks are created equal, so I’m going to let you know which ones I think you pass on and which ones you should press play.

*Disclaimer: I have not listened to all of these, but the one’s I haven’t, come highly recommended to me

  1. Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee, narrated by Reese Witherspoon 24817626.jpg
  2. Anything by Neil Gaiman (read earlier post here)9e63081d-a68a-4163-a44d-d20327cb4191
  3. The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larrson, narrated by Simon VanceMillennium-Trilogy-by-Stieg-Larsson-on-BookDragon.jpg
  4. The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah, narrated by Polly Stone21853621
  5. Sherlock Holmes’ Rediscovered Railway Stories by John Taylor, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch*24737122.jpg
  6. Life of Pi by Yaan Martel, narrated by Jeff Woodman51xufiFRCtL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_
  7. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, narrated by author*23453112.jpg
  8. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, narrated by Claire Corbette, Louise Brealey, and India Fisher22557272.jpg
  9. The Martian by Andy Weir, narrated by R.C. Bray 18007564.jpg
  10. The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde, narrated by Martin Jarvis, musical adaptation by Dan Goeller.

51XLA8y2isL._SX385_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThis one is for the kids (and really the adults, too). This beautiful rendition of The Selfish Giant is one everyone should hear.  Not only is the narration amazing, it is set to a symphony that elevates the story. I bought it for my nephews and they always ask for it when they are in the car.

*Indicates I have not listened to this particular audiobook, but that it come highly recommended to me.

So there you have it, the 10 Audiobooks I recommend for your summer road trips! Happy reading (or listening), and I can’t wait to read all the other TTT lists for today!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Moms in Classic Literature, the best and the worst.

Another Tuesday, another Top Ten list brought to us by The Broke and Bookish blog. This week we have a freebie on “Mother’s Day.” I already wrote a couple of posts about mother’s day, but I didn’t want to skip this week, so I did a mix of my favorite and least favorite mom’s in literature. I stuck with classic lit. for this list, because, well, I like classic lit.

I found this list was a little tougher than I expected, as parents are much more rare in classic lit. than they are in modern stories. If they are portrayed, they usually take a minor role. However, there are some prominent mother’s in literature and some really stuck out to me.

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The Best.
  1. Marmee March (The Little Women, Louisa May Alcott)
    • She’s kind to her children, loving to her husband, firm in her beliefs and morals, understanding toward failure, yet persistant that all try their best. I think it would be hard to arguee that she is the best image of a great mother in literature.
  2. Katie Nolan (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith)
    • Hardworking and determined, Katie Nolan gives her children the opportunities she never got to have. Katie spends most of the book trying to scrape together just enough food to keep her children alive, and yet the kids grew up thinking they were rich as kings.
  3. Marilla Cuthbert (Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery)
    • Strict and harsh at first (and at times later), Marilla grows into a loving and wise mother to the orphan Anne. It takes her time to adjust to the spirit of Anne, but when she does, she becomes her biggest fan and confidant.
  4. Ma Ingalls (The Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder)
    • Tough to the core and hardworking, Ma shows us what it meant to be a mother in the tough times on the prairie. She is kind, but stern, encourages individuality in her children but demands obedience. To her husband she is supportive and a clear advisor. She set the standards for her children and her husband to live by, and by golly they followed them.
  5. Fantine (Les Miserables, Victor Hugo)
    • Perhaps the most tragic mother in literature is poor Fantine. This is a case where intention shows the heart of the woman. Fantine does all she can to give her child a good home, even if that meant giving her up. Leaving her child behind broke her heart, but she truly believed her daughter would be better without her. Then, due to the cruelty of others, she worked herself to death to provide for her child. She embodies the selflessness that mother’s have when caring for their children.
The Worst.
  1. Mrs. Bennet (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen)
    • Many people have a soft spot for Mrs. Bennet, and I guess I can understand that, but overall, I really dislike her. She’s ridiculous.
  2. The Stepmother (Hansel and Gretel, The Brother’s Grimm)
    • So all stepmothers in Grimm’s fairy tales are pretty bad, but this one is the worst. She convinces their father to leave his children in the woods because she wants more food. She’s terrible.
  3. Daisy Buchanan (The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald)
    • Did you forget that Daisy had a daughter? Don’t feel bad because apparently she did to.
  4.  Jocasta (Oedipus Rex, Sophocles)
    • She’s bad in the sense that she ends up marrying her son after killing her husband. It was all a big misunderstanding, but still.
  5. Mrs. Wormwood (Matilda, Roald Dahl)
    • Encourages her brilliant daughter not to be brilliant…yeah, she’s pretty awful.

Top Ten Tuesday: Give me more…

Per usual Top Ten Tuesday is brought to us by The Broke and the Bookish, the fabulous blog that orders us around every week (and we love it) ;). This week the topic is Ten Things On Our Reading Wish List: what I want more of in books.

I decided to focus on historical fiction for this post because it’s one of my favorite genres. My all-time favorite are WWII books, but as there is not a lack of those, I’ve picked 10 other Eras or topics that I would like to learn about.

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  1. The Vikings!!!!: (sorry about the exclamation points, vikings make me super excited). In college my all-time favorite class was Viking Literature–it was amazing. The literature from that time period was fantastic and I would love to see it rejuvenated
  2. Pre-Russian Revolution: It’s no secret that I adore Russian literature, but I want more! There aren’t very many new fiction books about this era, and I think they could be very interesting and captivating.
  3. The Egyptian Empire: Pharos, Cleopatra, Egyptian gods, hieroglyphics, giant pyramids…there is so much material for great historical fiction.
  4. The Martyrs: There are so many martyrs in the christian faith and they all have their stories. I would love to see them told as straight as possible (much like the movie Silence or The Mission).
  5. The Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs: I loved learning about the empires of Central and South America before colonization happened, but I have not found decent fiction about those time periods, and I would love to read them.
  6. Captain Cook’s adventures/other famous explorers: I recently went to New Zealand and learned way more about Captain Cook then I thought I would. His life would make for some awesome historical fiction, the guy was pretty fascinating.
  7. The Ancient Chinese dynasties: I really don’t know enough about these dynasties to know which ones are the most interesting, which is why I would love to see more historical fiction about them. China has such a rich history, there has to be plenty of stories to uncover.
  8. The Rwandan Genocide: This is not a fun topic to read about, nor to think about, but it is important. I have heard many talks by a beautiful woman named Immaculee Ilibagiza, and she talks about her survival during the Rwandan Genocide. However, she is not the only one and the others, and the ones who didn’t survive, deserve to have their story told. If anyone is interested about reading Immaculee’s book, it’s called Left to Tell, and it’s beautiful.
  9.  Authors: I love historical fiction about authors. I think it’s so fun to get into famous authors minds and explore their work by exploring them.
  10. Constantine and Charlemagne:  There are tons of historical fiction books about the Holy Roman Empire, but there are not a lot about the two most famous of emperors of that era: Constantine and Charlemagne. I became super interested in Charlemagne when I went to Aachen, Germany and saw the Cathedral he built and the Charlemagne museum…the man really liked gold things….anyway, their lives were super cool and they both helped form Europe into what it is today, so I would love some Historical fiction about these two.

 

There you have it, my historical fiction wish list! Thanks for reading, and make sure to comment your TTT link so I can read your bookish wish list!