Top Ten Tuesday: (Character Driven Novels) October 7, 2014

What’s better than a good character?  Really, good characters are what make us love (or even care) about the plot.  And, God forbid, you encounter an interesting story with lame character development (Twilight, I’m looking at you).  So here, without any ado-

Ten Character Driven Novels (in no particular order)

  • The Host, by Stephanie Meyer
    Since this novel happens largely in the head /thoughts of two independent but sharing a body characters, it could be nothing but character driven.  The whole story is told in a reactionary first person stance that embeds the reader into the action like a war-correspondent.
  • The Tale of the Three Brothers in The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K.Rowling
    While not technically a novel, the legend of the three brothers is so heavily dependent on the characterizations of the four main players, that they literally become a sub-cultures fairy tale, invoking the story with just their names.
  • The Book Theif by Markus Zusak
    Not trying to spoil it, so sorry- but driven largely by the action and reaction of two characters this book is nothing if not about the hearts and minds of two “people.”
  • The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
    Life is a live action, one take play with human souls on the main stage, and John Green’s latest book reminds us of that fact.  These are the hearts and minds that we wish we could be- with the bodies we never want.
  • The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Katie Rorick
    Reminiscent of a stage production, largely because of it’s creation story, Lizzie strings the reader along with her point of view and throws us into a full on *feels* tizzy every third page.  Without her, it’d (and I’d) be nothing.
  • The Help by Katherine Stockett
    Again, what better than a bunch of women with no better plot than life.  This mega story with a million and a half characters is reminiscent of my real life interactions with women in the world, but wildly funny to make up for the realism.
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
    An examination of characterization, and what makes individuals, well, individual.  Two characters, living with one name accidentally encounter one another and go full on teen-aged introspection.
  • The Death and Life of Charlie St.Cloud by Ben Sherwood
    Who are we if not what we leave behind?  Charlie St.Cloud imagines what is left when things go wrong and we must strive for life once more.
  • Where the Wild Things are by Maurice Sendak
    Max is everyone you ever wanted to be.  And if you say that’s not true- I’m calling you a liar.
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F.Scott Fitzgerald
    Faced with an impossible life situation: aging in reverse, this novel is a morality tale about living life to the fullest, using the title character as “living” testimony.

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 Character Driven Novels

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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