Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Want On A Desert Island

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they pick a  fun topic for a top ten list. This weeks list is Top Ten Books I’d Want On A Desert Island.

1. The Clan Of The Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

I have loved this book since I first read it for summer reading before ninth grade. It never gets old and I only love it more every time I re-read it.

2. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Any of these books are re-readable.

3. Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

This book is laugh-out-loud funny. I assume being stuck on a desert island, I would need the laughs.

4. The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

I am counting all three books here because there are plenty of editions where they are published together. The Lord Of The Rings has it all including Elves, Orcs, and Hobbits.

5. The Stand by Stephen King

This ones has enough characters and storylines to hold up to a yearly re-read. So much excitement and the ultimate baddie.

6. The Mists Of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

A handful of my favorite female characters and a book that loses little on being reread.

7. Eragon by Christopher Paolini

An exciting story with a dragon. Would be hard to get tired of that.

8. In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner

An emotional ride through dysfunction and complicated enough to find new insights when reread.

9. The First Wives Club by Olivia Goldsmith

A hilarious tale of revenge.

10. A Game Of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Long and complex enough to keep me busy on this solitary island. If I had all this free time, would love to reread this book.

 

 

The Future Of Us A Review

The Future Of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Title: The Future Of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

Authors: Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

Publisher: Razorbill

Publishing Date: November 21st, 2011

Goodreads

Summary

It’s 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They’ve been best friends almost as long – at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh’s family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they’re automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. And they’re looking at themselves fifteen years in the future. By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they’re forced to confront what they’re doing right – and wrong – in the present.

Review

I may be the perfect age for this book, having been a sophomore in High School in 1996. I remember the newness of the internet as a teenager and all those free AOL CD’s. The other cultural references like Green Day’s Dookie and bootleg albums, really brought me back.

The Future Of Us is written with both Emma and Josh narrating their own chapters. The switching of the narrator from Josh to Emma in each chapter allows the reader to get to know and become emotionally invested in each character. Getting to hear in each characters own words how what they see of the future effects the way they react to the present, is really interesting. It also brings up so many questions, do you play it safe or go for what you really want? Is it ever too late to change? I am not generally a fan of books written by two authors but Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler do an excellent job. Emma and Josh felt very real and I rooted for them throughout the book.

I had a hard time putting this book down and loved every minute of it. If you are looking for a creative story that makes you feel nostalgic for your teenage years, pick-up The Future Of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler.

 

Summary and cover image from goodreads.

 

Weekly Book Haul (7)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren where you can share the books you received during the week. Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you added to your shelves.

In My Mailbox

Stacking-the-Shelves

This week is a bit slower than past weeks because we are quickly approaching the holiday season and I need to start saving my pennies for gift giving. Thankfully, I have a huge stack of books in my office that I need to read and the library is still letting me take books for free.

Free eBooks

Billionaires & Ballot Bandits How To Steal An Election In 9 Easy Steps by Greg Palast

Billionaires & Ballot Bandits How To Steal An Election In 9 Easy Steps by Greg Palast

 

A close presidential election in November could well come down to contested states or even districts–an election decided by vote theft? It could happen this year. Based on Greg Palast and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s investigative reporting for Rolling Stone and BBC television, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps might be the most important book published this year–one that could save the election. Last week Billionaires & Ballot Bandits debuted on the NYT Bestseller list at #10 in paperback nonfiction. Billionaires & Ballot Bandits names the filthy-rich sugar-daddies who are super-funding the Super-PACs of both parties–billionaires with nicknames like “The Ice Man,” “The Vulture” and, of course, The Brothers Koch. Told with Palast’s no-holds-barred, reporter-on-the-beat style, the facts as he lays them out are staggering. What emerges in Billionaires & Ballot Bandits is the never-before-told-story of the epic battle being fought behind the scenes between the old money banking sector that still supports Obama, and the new hedge fund billionaires like Paul Singer who not only support Romney but also are among his key economic advisors. Although it has not been reported, Obama has shown some backbone in standing up to the financial excesses of the men behind Romney. Billionaires & Ballot Bandits exposes the previously unreported details on how operatives plan to use the hundreds of millions in Super-PAC money pouring into this election. We know the money is pouring in, but Palast shows us the convoluted ways the money will be used to suppress your vote. The story of the billionaires and why they want to buy an election is matched with the nine ways they can steal the election. His story of the sophisticated new trickery will pick up on Palast’s giant New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

 

Library Books

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be…well…a lot less than the man of her dreams? As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad’s recitation, and only the “good parts” reached his ears. Now Goldman does Dad one better. He’s reconstructed the “Good Parts Version” to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere. What’s it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex. In short, it’s about everything.

Shadow Of Night by Deborah Harkness

Shadow Of Night (All Souls #2) by Deborah Harkness

Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon. The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782. Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens. Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries, delivering one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the season.

 

I had very mixed feelings about the first book of this trilogy (you can find my review of A Discovery Of Witches here) but I am not a quitter and am willing to give Shadow Of Night a chance.

 

Overbite by Meg Cabot

Overbite by Meg Cabot

Meena Harper has a special gift, but it’s only now that anyone’s ever appreciated it. The Palatine Guard — a powerful secret demon-hunting unit of the Vatican — has hired her to work at their new branch in Lower Manhattan. With Meena’s ability to predict how everyone she meets will die, the Palatine finally has a chance against the undead. Sure, her ex-boyfriend was Lucien Antonescu, son of Dracula, the prince of darkness. But that was before he (and their relationship) went up in flames. Now Meena’s sworn off vampires for good … at least until she can prove her theory that just because they’ve lost their souls doesn’t mean demons have lost the ability to love. Meena knows convincing her co-workers — including her partner, über-demon-hunter Alaric Wulf — that vampires can be redeemed won’t be easy … especially when a deadly new threat seems to be endangering not just lives of the Palatine, but Meena’s friends and family as well. But Meena isn’t the Palatine’s only hope. Father Henrique — aka Padre Caliente — New York City’s youngest, most charming priest, has also been assigned to the case. So why doesn’t Meena — or Alaric — trust him? As she begins unraveling the truth, Meena finds her loyalties tested, her true feelings laid bare … and temptations she never even imagined existed, but finds impossible to resist. This time, Meena may finally have bitten off more than she can chew.

 

I hate when this happens! Overbite is book two in a series which I did not realize when I picked it up. I hate reading books out of order but have my fingers crossed that I can get my hands of book one (Insatiable).

Would you ever read a series out of order?

All summaries and cover images taken from goodreads.

Neverwhere By Neil Gaiman A Review

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Title: Neverwhere

Author: Neil Gaiman

Publisher:William Morrow Paperbacks

Publishing Date: 1996

Goodreads

Summary

Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but demanding fiancée. Then one night he stumbles across a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her – and the life he knows vanishes like smoke. Several hours later, the girl is gone too. And by the following morning Richard Mayhew has been erased from his world. His bank cards no longer work, taxi drivers won’t stop for him, his landlord rents his apartment out to strangers. He has become invisible, and inexplicably consigned to a London of shadows and darkness – to a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere. For this is the home of Door, the mysterious girl whom Richard rescued in the London Above. A personage of great power and nobility in this murky, candlelit realm, she is on a mission to discovery the cause of her family’s slaughter, and in doing so preserve this strange underworld kingdom from the malevolence that means to destroy it. And with nowhere else to turn, Richard Mayhew must now join the Lady Door’s entourage in their determined – and possibly fatal – quest. For the dread journey ever-downward – through bizarre anachronisms and dangerous incongruities, and into dusty corners of stalled time – is Richard’s final hope, his last road back to a “real” world that is growing disturbingly less real by the minute.

I am so glad that I randomly pulled this book off the shelf of the library. Until I got home, I was unaware of this gem of a book or its starting off as a mini-series in the UK. Having read only one other Neil Gaiman book, Anansi Boys, I am familiarizing myself with his work and wondering what took me so long to do so.

The world created in Neverwhere is rich and expansive. You can nearly smell the sewers and feel the grittiness of London Below. It is such an interesting idea to have a fantastical realm and characters that are adjacent and aware of our modern world. They are us with a twist. The way in which Neil Gaiman uses the London underground stations to become something more literal and an integral part of the plot, was so much fun. As a plot device, I found it to be very inventive. 

Richard Mayhew, who is the most regular everyman, is a character that you cannot help but root for. He is a good person who tries to do the right thing but is utterly average in every regard. Until he has a fantastical adventure that leads to becoming a warrior and learning to live in a place of adventure.  

I loved nearly everything about Neverwhere. If you are looking for a well-written fantasy novel filled with interesting characters, Neverwhere should be moved to the top of your to be read pile.

Images and summary from goodreads.

Waiting On Wednesday (2)

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights new releases that you are eagerly anticipating.

Linked by Imogen Howson

Linked by Imogen Howson

Expected Publishing Date: June 11th 2013

Summary

Elissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future. But for the last three years, she’s been struggling with terrifying visions, phantom pains, and mysterious bruises that appear out of nowhere. Finally, she’s promised a cure: minor surgery to burn out the overactive area of her brain. But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the shocking truth behind her hallucinations: she’s been seeing the world through another girl’s eyes. Elissa follows her visions, and finds a battered, broken girl on the run. A girl—Lin—who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises. The twin sister she never knew existed. Now, Elissa and Lin are on the run from a government who will stop at nothing to reclaim Lin and protect the dangerous secrets she could expose—secrets that would shake the very foundation of their world. Riveting, thought-provoking and utterly compelling, Linked will make you question what it really means to be human.

Oh how I love the cover of this book. It has so much movement.

I love a good the government is covering up something and we have to get the information out to save the world story line.

 

What books are you waiting on?

All images and summary are from goodreads.

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I Want To Finish

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they pick a  fun topic for a top ten list. This weeks list is freebie where you can pick any topic you like. I decided to do the top ten series I want to finish.

1. Delirium by Lauren Oliver

I am dying to read the second book in this series, Pandemonium.

 

2. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

I am way behind on this one having only read the first book, City Of Bones. At least I was able to get to that one before the movie comes out.

 

3. Percy Jackson And The Olympians by Rick Riordan

I have two books left in this series which is slowly becoming one of my favorites. reading these books has been such a joy.

 

4. The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

Two down and two to go in this series.

 

5. The Faerie Wars Chronicles by Herbie Brennan

I stumbled on the first book in a used book store and loved it. I cannot wait to read books two through five.

 

6. A Song Of Fire And Ice by George R. R. Martin

I have only read the first book in this series but my excuse is that these books are really long. Long and detailed and oh-so-good but long. I love to read but these series is a real investment in time. Hopefully I will have the time sometime this decade.

 

7. The Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire

I read Wicked: The Life And Times Of The Wicked Witch Of The West when it first came out in 2000. Loved it and read Son Of A Witch and kind of forgot about the series. This one has been so long that I would probably need to start over to refresh my memory.

 

8. Book Of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

I read the first two books of this series when the terrible movie came out. Never got around to reading the third and fourth books.

 

9. Heather Wells by Meg Cabot

I received the first book, Size 12 Is Not Fat, from PaperBack Swap. It was a random pick to use up a credit but I really enjoyed the book.

 

10. Walsh Family by Marian Keyes

The latest book in this series came out in September, The Mystery Of Mercy Close. I cannot wait to get my hands on it. Marian Keyes is my favorite Chick-Lit author and the Walsh family are my favorite set of Irish sisters.

 

What series do you need to finish?

 

 

 

 

Weekly Book Haul (6)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren where you can share the books you received during the week. Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you added to your shelves.

In My Mailbox

Stacking-the-Shelves

I made it to the book store this week with a coupon and was able to pick-up some goodies.

 

Netgalley

Tension City by Jim Lehrer

Tension City by Jim Lehrer

From the man widely hailed as “the Dean of Moderators” comes a lively and revealing book that pulls back the curtain on more than forty years of televised political debate in America. A veteran newsman who has presided over eleven presidential and vice-presidential debates, Jim Lehrer gives readers a ringside seat for some of the epic political battles of our time, shedding light on all of the critical turning points and rhetorical faux pas that helped determine the outcome of America’s presidential elections—and with them the course of history. Drawing on his own experiences as “the man in the middle seat,” in-depth interviews with the candidates and his fellow moderators, and transcripts of key exchanges, Lehrer isolates and illuminates what he calls the “Major Moments” and “killer questions” that defined the debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain.

Kindle

Coraline 10 Anniversary Edition by Neil Gaiman

Coraline 10th Anniversary Edition by Neil Gaiman

Coraline’s often wondered what’s behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her “other” parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy black button eyes. When they make it clear, however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures.

Bought New

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

The Future Of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

The Future Of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

It’s 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They’ve been best friends almost as long – at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh’s family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they’re automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. And they’re looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

the longing. Once Grace and Sam have found each other, they know they must fight to stay together. For Sam, this means a reckoning with his werewolf past. For Grace, it means facing a future that is less and less certain. the loss. Into their world comes a new wolf named Cole, whose past is full of hurt and danger. He is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life of a wolf while denying the ties of being human. the linger. For Grace, Sam, and Cole, life is a constant struggle between two forces — wolf and human — with love bearing its two sides as well. It is harrowing and euphoric, freeing and entrapping, enticing and alarming. As their world falls apart, love is what lingers. But will it be enough?

Crossed by Ally Condie

Crossed by Ally Condie

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky — taken by the Society to his certain death — only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake. Cassia’s quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander — who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia’s heart — change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

So many books to add to the always growing stack. Luckily I am volunteering as a poll watcher on Tuesday and will have lots of time between helping voters to read.

What did you add to your stack this week?

All images and summaries taken from goodreads.

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter A Review

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

Title: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

Author: Seth Grahame-Smith

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Published Date: January 1, 2012

 

Summary

Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother’s bedside. She’s been stricken with something the old-timers call “Milk Sickness.” “My baby boy…” she whispers before dying. Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother’s fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire. When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, “henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose…” Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House. While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years. Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

 

Review

I really wanted to like Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. It is such an interesting and unique concept to take historical events, treat them seriously, and write an alternative history. I found the book to be dull and plodding. It is obvious that my interest is waning when I keep checking how many more pages are left to reach the end. It is actually difficult to imagine how a book about vampires can be so boring but I had to force myself to finish this one.

It was not all a negative experience and I did enjoy that the ending has a twist. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is well-written, if rather dry. The parts of the story that detailed the Civil War and the assassination were by far the most interesting. John Wilkes Booth and his mini-bio to his end were also done well.

I have yet to watch the movie adaptation but hope it is a bit more exciting than the book.

What was the last book you read that did not live up to your expectations?

All images and the summary from goodreads.