Tuesday, June 10, 2014

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Favorite Books of the Year, so far...

Hellooo. I'm still here. We got moved, and then soccer started and life got busy. For example, tonight, all three kids had a practice at 6 pm, at different places. The new house is wonderful, we are enjoying the extra space (and shower!). I'll 'give a tour' eventually, when I get some respectable photos. Let's say that will be my first summer vacation project.
Seeing this prompt in my InoReader (aka Google Reader) was just the easy thing for me to get back on the blogging wagon. I have been reading, and listening (a lot more listening this year) to lots of great books. One more week of correcting stuff, and then reading gets a lot easier. It's not that I don't read during the school year, but I read guiltily, knowing I have a pile of correcting to do. Losing the guilt part is the best.

Favorite Books of the Year, so far...

1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - the 15 hour audiobook (narrated by Wil Wheaton) that was so good I couldn't turn it off. So much fun with the 80s memories! There is a reason this is recommended in so many lists of great audiobooks.

2. Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding - I'm a huge Bridget fan, and I loved this finale for her. She's still silly, but she has grown up tons. If she wasn't still making rash decisions, and getting into scrapes, she wouldn't be Bridget, even at fifty years old. I certainly missed Mark, but so did Bridget, and my heart broke several times with her.

3. How the Light Gets In  by Louise Penny- Another audiobook that got me hooked, actually better than the last few in the series.  I appreciated the characters a lot more. It helped there was lots of Ruth, and little Jean-Guy and Peter. This tied up the huge story arc of the in-house battles that have been going on, although the whole premise was a tad far-fetched.

4. One More Thing by BJ Novak - Delightful, wry, humourous morsels that are close to short stories, but almost too short to even be that much. They beg to be re-read, as I do like the funny.

5. The Bear by Claire Cameron - This gets compared to Room by Emma Donaghue, but only because of the five year old narrator. Dear little Anna has to get her young brother out of the woods after her parents are eaten by a bear. Her perspective keeps things from getting too horrifically bad because her brain won't let her process too much at once. Surprisingly hopeful!

6. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman - I've been meaning and wanting to read this for a few years, since I read American Gods. If American Gods is an epic tale, Anansi Boys is the little sibling, that goes along with its older cooler brother. It's a family tale, very well-done by Gaiman, of whom we expect nothing less. A nice surprising read.

7. Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen - I just finished this one, but it was a very nice, gentle book. Horrifically, it had a 'romance' sticker on it from the library. I wouldn't class if that way, but there was a nice love story gradually happening.

8. Reality Boy by AS King - I haven't been reading much Young Adult these days, but I would recommend this one easily. Gerald is a very angry teenager, dealing with his 'reality fame' many years later as an out of control young child on a Nanny show. His dysfunctional, rotten family, the adults who knew there were problems and did nothing, and the resilience of some people despite their situations made this a compelling read.

9.  Cabin Pressure series (audiobook) - written by John Finnemore, this BBC radio series isn't really a book, but I did listen to the 25 episodes like an audiobook. Hilarious! Really, really funny, and I've even started to re-listen to some of them again. Brilliant stuff here.

10. the 4 Maisie Dobbs books (#5-8)  I read  by Jacqueline Winspear - sometimes individual books are just okay, but the series as a whole gets upgraded. That's what happened to me as a flew through four books of Maisie Dobbs, 2 of which were audiobooks. I liked how the series developed, how the characters grew, and really started to move on from the first world war. Unfortunately, the next war is looming. I have two more to go, then I get to wait for the next release, sometime next year.