Top Ten Tuesday: (2014 Years) June 10, 2014

Here we are, dear readers, at the half way point in the year.  Which, if I were a good bookish blogger would mean I would be on book number 24 at this point.  I am not on book number 24 at this point.  That’s life folks.  Of the books I’ve read (or are actively reading at this moment) here is a list of the best.

Top Ten Books of 2014 (thus far)

  1. Burning for Revenge (Tomorrow Series #5) by John Marsden
    First of all, I have been loving this series in the first place, but the fifth book is perhaps the most intense plot line and action / adventure so far (I’m halfway through the sixth at the moment).  This is really the opportunity for the main characters to come into their own, being welcomed into the war by proper authorities gives them a sort of agency in the fight for Australia, and ultimately makes them adults and soliders in their own right.
  2. Insurgent (Divergent Series #2) by Veronica Roth
    I haven’t completed the final installment yet, but I found this novel to be sprisingly good.  Generally the second novel in a trilliogy can be filler- perpetuating the plot but not really enriching the story.  Insurgent was an exception to this rule, giving us a lovely independant plot, full of rich characterizations, real emotions and the harsh realities of a heronie not getting what she wants.
  3. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo (reading-in-progress)
    The idea of a story set in the poorest slums of Mumbai may not be a great beach read, but Katherine Boo has turned this tragic story into one where elegant prose illuminates the small rays of hope and dignity found within a landfill town.  The story itself reminds us that life’s little details are futility precious.
  4. The Fault in our Stars by John Green
    Okay, last years NYT Best Seller is probably on everyone’s 2014 list because of the movie, but I re-read on a sleepless night a few months ago (before the hoopla for the movie got so intense) and cried a bucket of tears.  Heartwrenching and honest, and a reminder of the life behind the diagnosis- this is the book Green will be remembered for.
  5. My Story by Elizabeth Smart and Chris Stewart
    An early memoir, I was expecting Mormon propaganda, but instead got a straight to the facts no fluff, filler, or sugarcoating account of the worst year of a young girls life.  Smart (with Stewarts help) narrates her time in captivity in a way that reminds us not only of the horrors of her captors, but also of the inadequate nature of the response system.
  6. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
    Okay, truth is its c**p from a literary point of view, but I still turn to it like Lays Origional potato chips.  (Read my actual review here).
  7. The Butler by Wil Haygood
    The origination of the Lee Daniels / Oprah Winfrey film this fast book is a more journalistic approach to the story of one man who went from a field slave to watching the first black President elected in the US in his lifetime, all while standing by watching history unfold every day.  This book is a great reminder that domestic work is not forgone, or forgotten.
  8. Growing Up Duggar by Jill, Jana, Jinger, and Jessa Duggar
    An enlightening memoir / instructional on the highly Evangelical beliefs and teachings in the Duggar Family (of 19 Kids and Counting Fame).  I picked this up in part because of my interest in the subculture of Extreme Christianity in the US, but kept with it largely because once you remove the biblical passages, they open a lively and important discussion about the way we choose to interact with the opposite sex.  I dont always agree with them, but they are some of the few people in the world even bothering to discuss this topic.
  9. Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer (book-in-progress)
    Half science fiction, half woe-is-me teen lit this book is far from high literature, but it never claims to be anything other than one big game of “what if.”  What if Cinderella lived in the future?  What if cyborgs existed?  What if there was an epidemic?  What if Cinderella could actually offer something to the prince, more than a pretty face and a dance in the woods?  What if this re-imagining ignites the love of fairy tales for a whole new generation of cell phone carrying, internet using tweens?
  10. Tuna fish on Banana bread with extra Mustard and Sauerkraut” by me
    Okay that’s not a book.  But I wildly amuse myself, and I’ve started telling people that instead of “I dont know.”  My favorite part is most people at work walk and talk and so they never notice, or they make it all the way down the hall before turning back and asking.

 

This regular feature here at A MaeDay Life is a part of The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday’s.  This week’s theme was “Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

Top Ten Tuesday: (Summer TBR) June 3, 2014

Oh the summer… days spent in the yard, book in hand, pretending you don’t hear the call of chores from the house while you devour novel after novel.  The time of the year when you are allowed, as an adult, to be seen with a book filled with something other than literary merit and best seller status.  So here, dear friend, are the ones I plan on being lost in this summer.

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  1. The Other Side of Dawn (Tomorrow Series Book 6) by John Marsden
    The war begins to draw to a close, and Ellie and the crew dig in for one last novel battle.  This is their last chance to stay alive, stay together, and stay Australian.
  2. Allegiant (Divergent Book 3) (Divergent Book 3) by Veronica Roth
    Will Tris change everything like Katness did?  Or will this become another sad disappointment in the long chain of girl power trilogy conclusions?  And just who are these allies?  [yes this was on my Spring TBR Top 10]
  3. Behind the Beautiful Forever’s by Katherine Boo
    The Nerdfighter Book Club Summer Selection.  While the subject of poverty and social class is heavy, Boo’s writing has delicate and rings so personal I almost feel like I am personally being told this story.  {clearly I’ve already started it}
  4. Wicked Designs by Lauren Smith
    It’s all in the Amazon description “Warning: This novel includes a lady who refuses to stay kidnapped, a devilish duke with a dark past, and an assortment of charming rogues who have no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into.”  [yes this was on my Spring TBR Top 10]
  5. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
    I don’t really know what this book is, or why it is already purchased and on my kindle… but there it is, staring at me every time I reach for something else, and it seems like it should be read.  [yes this was on my Spring TBR Top 10]
  6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K.Rowling
    Harry and the Gang try to solve a Scooby Mystery.  This is my slowest HP Book, largely because it just doesnt move at the pace I would like it to.  There’s a lot of world building, which is great… later… when I have the details for all the exciting stuff.
  7. Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly
    After Pemberley Digital’s announcement about their new project, Frankenstein M.D. I’m ready to turn back to an old favorite.  The doctor, the monster, the gothic horror- it’s a better fall read, I think, but I want to be ready to see what the Lizzie Bennett Diaries crew has in store for me!
  8. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick
    Speaking of Pemberley Digital and adaptations… Pride and Prejudice was adapted into The Lizzie Bennet Diaries which has been adapted into this book.  Christina at A Reader of Fictions gave it a lovely review.  And it has Darcy’s letter.  Ladies and Gentlemen pre-order now.
  9. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
    I accepted the conclusion of 13 Little Blue Envelopes with little complaint, though I always wanted to know what was in that last envelope… and now I’m gonna sit down, power through and find out!
  10. Please Ignore Vera Diez by A.S. King
    This just came in my Book Riot Quarterly Box, and I’m excited to dive into it, though I don’t really know what it’s about.  Apparently it’s got flow charts, and I love a good flow chart.

This regular feature here at A MaeDay Life is a part of The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday’s.  This week’s theme was “Top Ten Books That Should Be In Your Beach Bag or Ten Books

May 2014: Start Up

What I hope to do: May 2014
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Miami Cove, Tillamook Bay, Oregon Coast (c) S.M. Lennox

Things to Read:

Things to Watch:

  • (live) Game of Thrones: Season 4 (Television- HBO)
  • (liveThe Autobiography of Jane Eyre (YouTube webseries- 2014)
  • (live) 19 Kids and Counting (Television- TLC)
  • (live) The Little Couple (Television- TLC)
  • (rewatch) The Lizzie Bennett Diaries (YouTube webseries on DVD- 2013)
  • The Monuments Men (Film- 2014)
  • Austenland (Film- 2013)
  • Catching Fire (Film- 2013)

Things to Blog:

  • Reflections on Lent (from a never Catholic)
  • Weddings and Brides and the Women Who Love Me
  • Internet Dating (and Why I Try It)
  • The Ethical Meat Eater
  • Reviews: Books, Films, Television

Major Events to Come:

  • Rest.  Sleep.  More Rest.
  • Catching up on Blogs (and back-blogs)
  • Start Classics Challenge (I said this a while ago, but still haven’t done it)
  • MaeDay Geek Life
  • MaeDay Mailbox
  • MaeDay Life’s very First Give Away!