Remember my post about excuses? This one. Remember how I talked about a 30 day Top Five Blog Challenge? Well, the second day is to pick your top 5 books read in school.
Ummm, pretty sure they are the same as almost everyone else in the United States. Why? Because it seems like we all end up reading the exact same books for the most part. So instead I’m going to put up a list of my all time favorites (at least the top 5 that I can think of right now while I’m quickly writing a post in between cooking dinner and doing laundry whilst my child sleeps, so yeah).
1. For hopeless romantics (but warning, this is not a happy story) The Pact: A Love Story by Jodi Picoult: Picoult is a writer of high energy and conviction who has, in her fifth novel, brought to life a cast of subtly drawn characters caught up in a tragedy as timeless and resonant as those of the Greeks or Shakespeare. That is not to say that Picoult is anything but accessible; in fact, this psychologically shrewd tale is as suspenseful as any best-selling legal thriller. The Hartes and the Golds, professional folk living next door in an affluent New Hampshire town, are close friends, and their children, the Hartes’ son, Chris, and Emily Gold, were born just weeks apart. Inseparable all through childhood, they slipped from the haven of intimate friendship into the tempestuous realm of love in high school, a transition their parents fully expected and welcomed. But Emily is secretly appalled by the incestuous nature of her relationship with Chris, and when she discovers that she is pregnant, she can imagine only one solution: suicide. Chris is with her when she dies and is consequently charged with her murder. As Picoult takes us through the nightmare that follows, examining each character’s struggle with guilt and sorrow, she forges a finely honed, commanding, and cathartic drama.
2. (For those that love thrillers and mystery) Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child: I love all of the books written by BOTH of them (as in together, not apart. They aren’t as good apart.) but this was the first one I ever read so that is why it makes the list. A series of bizarre and brutal murders is taking place in the halls of the New York Museum of Natural History, only days before a massive exhibition is set to open. Margo Green knows that the killer is something not human, something that’s not even supposed to exist. Where did it come from, how did it get into the museum, and how can it be stopped?
3.(This is actually for teens, but is a great realistic sci-fi/futuristic series) The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins: In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives. Collins’s characters are completely realistic and sympathetic as they form alliances and friendships in the face of overwhelming odds; the plot is tense, dramatic, and engrossing.
4.(This is the perfect book if you want something fun with not too much work involved on your part. It’s a Christian Romance as a bonus!) Fancy Pants by Cathy Marie Hake: When Britisher Lady Sydney Hathwell’s father dies, the American who planned to
wed her suddenly reneges. Stranded in America and penniless, Sydney contacts a relative in Texas who, mistaking her male-sounding name, invites his “nephew” to join him on his ranch. “Big Tim” Creighton, however, is appalled when this mincing fop arrives at Forsaken. He determines he’ll turn Fancy Pants Hathwell into a man before the boss returns home. From the get-go, he has “the kid” mucking stalls, clearing and plowing a field, and assisting with a difficult calving. But when Sydney’s true identity is uncovered, Tim resents being deceived. Yet in time, he also finds that he doesn’t like all the attention Sydney garners now that she’s wearing pretty gowns…Together Sydney and Tim will discover the importance of family and what it means to be a man–and a woman–of God.
5. (Crazy engrossing series in a setting like no other. It can get really wordy at times and steamy at others. The writer put a lot of great research into the books though and I really appreciate that.)The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth’s Children, Book One) by Jean M. Auel: When her parents are killed by an earthquake, 5-year-old Ayla wanders through the forest completely alone. Cold, hungry, and badly injured by a cave lion, the little girl is as good as gone until she is discovered by a group who call themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear. This clan, left homeless by the same disaster, have little interest in the helpless girl who comes from the tribe they refer to as the “Others.” Only their medicine woman sees in Ayla a fellow human, worthy of care. She painstakingly nurses her back to health–a decision that will forever alter the physical and emotional structure of the clan. Although this story takes place roughly 35,000 years ago, its cast of characters could easily slide into any modern tale. The members of the Neanderthal clan, ruled by traditions and taboos, find themselves challenged by this outsider, who represents the physically modern Cro-Magnons. And as Ayla begins to grow and mature, her natural tendencies emerge, putting her in the middle of a brutal and dangerous power struggle. Although Jean Auel obviously takes certain liberties with the actions and motivations of
all our ancestors, her extensive research into the Ice Age does shine through–especially in the detailed knowledge of plants and natural remedies used by the medicine woman and passed down to Ayla. Ayla’s personal evolution is a compelling and relevant tale.
What is your most recent favorite read? What about of all time?
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