Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday for August 9th!

Today's Top Ten Tuesday topic is open-ended. 
I am choosing to follow-up on the topic from July 5th: 
The Top Ten Books I Enjoyed 
That Have Under 2000 Ratings on Goodreads
I'm sure most of you are aware that 
this weekly meme is hosted by 
But, just in case you didn't already 
know that, now you do! :)
I am excited to revisit this topic 
since my July 5th posting consisted
exclusively of books from 
series with which I am enamored! 
There were another 20+ books 
as well!

On to another 10 of that longer list!

A White Wind Blew by James Markert
Definitely one of the best books I have ever read, 
particularly within one of my absolute favorite genres, 
historical fiction! And there is also mystery/suspense involved! 
You can see a partial list of the historical fiction books 
I have read hereHow can I best describe this book? 
It's virtually impossible because it is so very unique, IMHO! 
I can tell you that the Borders Book Club read it and 
each member RAVED about it. We also very much appreciated 
Mr. Markert taking time to speak with us during our discussion! 
I can tell you that a person I know who mostly just reads history read the copy I donated to our local library and LOVED it! She was telling everybody how good she thought it was! Rarely do I unreservedly recommend a book to 
virtually anyone and everyone, but this is one of those. 
And it needs to get more press than it has in the past, IMHO! 
I can tell you that this is one of the rare books I would gladly reread 
in the very near future...if only there was more reading time! :) 
My rereads are typically books I haven't read for DECADES, 
not just within the past 5-10 years. 
[This is what happens when you get "wiser," you can remember experiences 
from decades ago! :) Which I actually think is rather remarkable!]
Oh, my gosh! Again, simply one of the best books I have ever read! 
I met Ritter and became aware of this book through the 
Christamore House Guild Book and Author Benefit in 2015. 
(If you're ever going to be in Indianapolis in April, attend this event, 
if at all possible. It is unique and definitely worth the time and money, the latter of which goes to a very good cause--supporting 
scholarships for students with limited financial resources!) 
I admire Ritter in so many ways, not the least of which is that he chose to self-publish, thereby retaining total control of the publication of his text. I am sometimes a bit leery about self-published books 
(having been burned by a couple), this one is definitely top-notch! 
Ritter spent his youth in Indianapolis and this book is very very loosely based upon 
some of his experiences and people from his younger years, including his family. 

This is one I simply pulled off the shelf while working at Borders! 
And, it contains elements of both of my favorite genres, 
historical fiction AND mystery! :) I feel that Martin's writing style 
is very similar to Dan Brown's, and that must be a good thing, 
in my book! (Pun intended!) :) 
I was fascinated by the plot as well as the historical details 
masterfully interwoven throughout...

I am preparing to reread this for Bex's Re-Readathon #4 
(August 10-21) that begins tomorrow! 
And...Andrea has agreed to complete an author interview 
which will be posted here! And...she has a new release out! 
The Silence of Stone! It is available for purchase from 
Books-A-Million, Book Depository, Wordery, IndieBound, and 
Barnes and Noble. (I'm sure it's also available on Amazon, 
but you're on your own with that vendor!)
You can hear her speak of her experience in Afghanistan here. (Yes, she lived there!) 
I always recommend this book as an alternative or companion read to The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. It is not that I disliked The Kite Runner, quite the contrary, however, I found it so very intense and rather depressing. Overall, I prefer this publication mainly because I feel as if people outside Afghanistan may be better able to relate to the ex-pat characters, and thereby also obtain a bit more personalized understanding or at least exposure to Islam and the Afghan culture. If I have time I will also re-read Aphrodite's War, her second book, which has remained with me in detail over the past four years! 

As I re-read, 
I will post reviews 
and provide 
updated links!

I'm certain I would have never read this book had it not been 
selected as a Fiction Expert read for Borders. 
I was very glad to have read it. 
Certain images and the overall plot certainly remain 
lodged in my mind these 6 years later! That says something! Something good! Geye is a master at using the environment as a character in and of itself. The lakeshore landscape of northern Minnesota emphasized aspects of the story: 
loneliness, isolation, solitude, 
returning to nature.
Though many aspects of human life were explored: fertility, death, the "right to die," 
and all those wonderful (*cough cough*) 
"family relationships"! 
At the time I read somewhere that this 
book qualified as "chick lit" for guys. 
I have no idea about that, but I do know 
that I personally found it be a powerful read, especially for a debut! 
He has had two other books released 
since this one: 
The Lighthouse Road in 2012 
and Wintering in July 2016. 
Both of these are on my TBR listing! 

This is a bit of a diversion...
into juvenile literature, but I do so enjoy reading "kid's lit"
The story of Prairie is so very poignant! 
I don't know how anyone could resist rooting for her!

A Lost Wife's Tale: A Novel by Marion McGilvary
Sadly, it seems Miss McGilvary is no 
longer writing/publishing! :( 
I felt this was an excellent debut novel! 
Ironically, just as Edith believes she has 
hidden her past, it comes right up and punches her!
I didn't believe Edith quite deserved the bad treatment she received, 
though that would be a very difficult thing to forgive...

The Midnight Dog of the Repo Man (introductory e-short story) 
I read the short story first and was glad I had. 
I liked having that introduction to 
these characters, Ruddy and Jake. 
I admit that after receiving an email from 
Mr. Cameron, asking if I would 
read and review this book, 
when I saw the cover my reaction 
was kinda "meh"... 
Although I have adored every one of 
his publications I have read, 
so that was the motivation for me to continue onward, reading and reviewing it! Some of the raucous humor 
in this book reminded me of 
Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series
(And that's some high praise, coming from me! lol) 
And I am thrilled that the promised sequel, Repo Madness
is due to be released August 23 2016! YES!!!

Emory's Gift by W. Bruce Cameron
I'm uncertain if I've ever read a book which better depicted
an adolescent--so much hesitation,
so little confidence, so "clueless" at times!
This one gives you so very much to ponder...
And, of course, don't forget about LOVE:
first loves and girlfriends, loving/"romantic" relationships
later in life, and just how committed/connected we remain 
to those we've lost...and have we really "lost" them?
Will we have the opportunity to reconnect with them 
in the future? In this lifetime? In another lifetime? 
Ahhh...the possibilities are endless...
Thank you for taking the risk to write this story, Mr. Cameron!
Everyone in our book club truly enjoyed this book!

The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell

I won a free copy of this book through Goodreads. 

As I told my book club members about it, they decided 
they wanted to read it, too, so we did! 
Each member really enjoyed it and it prompted 
much valuable discussion: ecological issues 
and climate change, love between humans and 
animal companions, and impetuous actions 
that end up providing such benefits!
Though we all cried!

I am struggling to re-enter the world of blogging!
It seems that my time becomes more and more limited, 
or perhaps I am just so much more enamored with reading that I find it 
increasingly difficult to publish on the blog...
I am currently helping at an information desk in the lobby of our building on campus,
so brought my laptop so I can access the Registrar's website, 
faculty/staff directory, etc., in helping guide students,
then thought I should access the blog and see what I might be able to finish and publish
during the lag time between students.
(Doesn't that make you feel oh, so much more productive?!?)

Happy reading