Top Ten Tuesday (134): Books I’d Buy Now

TTT starsTop Ten Tuesdays is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  This week the topic is:

Ten Books I would Buy Now if Handed a Gift Card

  1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne: Obviously.
  2. The Golden Specific by S. E. Grove: Who doesn’t like a book with maps?
  3. Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin: Thyme struggles to adjust to a move to Manhattan.
  4. Otter Goes to School by Sam Garton: My library doesn’t own this one for some reason!
  5. The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home by Catherynne M. Valente: All the past rulers of Fairyland have been brought to life again.  So who should wear the crown?
  6. A Snicker of  Magic by Natalie Lloyd: I read a library copy, but I wouldn’t mind having one for myself!  Or to share!
  7. Disenchanted: The Trials of Cinderella by Megan Morrison: Apparently Cinderella wants to unionize laborers?  Or at least give them a better standard of life.  (It’s supposed to be released in October, but I can pre-order, right?)
  8. The Anne of Green Gables  books by L. M. Montgomery: I still don’t own them all.  It’s a tragedy.
  9. The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave: Such a beautiful cover!  And it’s about a cartographer’s daughter!
  10. The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell:  It sounds quirky and I love quirky MG books.

Krysta 64

Top Ten Tuesday (133): Bookish Facts About Me

TTT starsTop Ten Tuesdays is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  This week the topic is:

ten bookish facts about me

  1. I used to think Narnia was real.  However, since I had read The Last Battle, I could explain to you why you couldn’t get to it through the closet.
  2. I love The Divine Comedy and I think the Paradiso is the best.  I think it’s a shame everyone just reads the Inferno.
  3. I really like Renaissance drama.
  4. I generally don’t use bookmarks but, when I do, I think it’s funny to try to match the bookmark to the cover.
  5. I also thought Peter Pan was real and this scared me because I didn’t like anyone who went around looking into other people’s windows.
  6. I secretly like the Ella Enchanted movie even though it’s nothing like the book.
  7. I wish people would stop trying to make me watch suffer through the Hobbit movies just because I like Tolkien.
  8. I enjoy MG more than I enjoy YA.
  9. I read literary criticism for fun, but I tend to hide this so people don’t think I’m pretentious.
  10. I think books and cats go together.

Krysta 64

Top Ten Tuesday (132): Books with Under 2000 Ratings on Goodreads

TTT starsTop Ten Tuesdays is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  This week the topic is

Top Ten Books with Under 2000 Ratings on Goodreads

  1. The Last Cavalier by Alexandre Dumas:  I suppose its being unfinished accounts somewhat for its not being popular, but wasn’t it exciting to learn a new Dumas work had been found?
  2. Shakespeare Inside: The Bar Behind Bars by Amy Scott-Douglass: A fascinating look at what performing Shakespeare means to some U.S. inmates.
  3. Fantasists on Fantasy ed. by Robert H. Boyer and Kenneth J. Zahorski: A compilation of literary theory by the writers of fantasy themselves from J. R. R. Tolkien to Ursula K. LeGuin.
  4. The Maid’s Tragedy by Beaumont and Fletcher: Amintor marries Evadne at the behests of the king, only to discover Evadne is the king’s mistress.  But can Amintor seek justice against the monarch?
  5. Across the Miles: Tales of Correspondence by L. M. Montgomery: One of several anthologies containing some of Montgomery’s short stories.
  6. The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd: A new book from the author of A Snicker of  Magic.
  7. Otter Loves Halloween! by Sam Garton: A charming picture book wherein Otter finds Halloween a little too scary!
  8. Dante’s Daughter by Kimberley Heuston: A YA book that imagines the life of Dante’s daughter Antonia.
  9. The Wonder Clock by Howard Pyle: A collection of fairy tales.  If you like traditional stories of princes and princesses, clever animals, and speaking bears–this is the book for you.
  10. The Laughing Cavalier by Baroness Orczy: The Scarlet Pimpernel is just one in a series.  This tells the story of one of Percy’s ancestors.

Top Ten Tuesday (131): Musicals Based on Books

TTT starsTop Ten Tuesdays is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  This week was a freebie so I chose the category of musicals based on books!

  1. Les Mis: My favorite musical of all time for its dramatic story and score.  Based on the novel by Victor Hugo.
  2. The Phantom of the Opera: Honestly, I think Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical is better than Gaston Leroux’s book.
  3. Hamilton: Inspired by Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton.
  4. A Tale of Two Cities: Charles Dickens’s novel did get the musical treatment, though I often find people surprised to learn this.
  5. Tarzan: The music is so catchy. I want to sing all the songs!
  6. The Scarlet Pimpernel: I like Baroness Orczy’s novel a little better, but I still appreciate the music.
  7. The Hunchback of Notre Dame: I read somewhere Disney was going to make this into a Broadway show?  Their movie version is so incredibly dramatic (though less so than Hugo’s book, I suppose) and I wish they had.  “God Help the Outcasts” is one of my favorite Disney songs and a complete surprise coming from them.
  8. The Sound of Music: Maybe it’s not quite like the story Maria Von Trapp wrote, but it’s still moving and full of excellent music.
  9. Notre Dame de Paris: It’s in French and I don’t understand the words, but I still love it.
  10. A Very Potter Musical: Fan creativity never ceases to astound me.

Top Ten Tuesday (130): Books I Feel Differently About

TTT starsTop Ten Tuesdays is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  This week is about the books I changed my mind about over the years.

  1. Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene: As I grew up, I realized Nancy Drew is a bit of Mary Sue–but that doesn’t keep me from loving her, anyway.
  2. Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis: I still love it, but I realized when I was older that there really isn’t much going on, plot-wise.
  3. Hamlet by William Shakespeare: I vaguely enjoyed Shakespeare’s tragedies while in high school, but didn’t fully appreciate Shakespeare as a playwright until I saw Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet.
  4. Emma by Jane Austen: I didn’t like Emma until I saw Romola Garai’s portrayal of her–young and light-hearted, rather than malicious.
  5. Some of C. S. Lewis’s nonfiction: It’s hard to overlook some of his statements on women that do sound a little sexist.  I’m sorry, Lewis.  I like you.  I really do.  But I am offended.
  6. Some of G. K. Chesterton’s work:  I enjoy his Father Brown mysteries and some of his other work, but I am confused as to why no one ever mentions his clear anti-Semitism.  Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away.
  7. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas: I didn’t know for awhile that Dumas’s grandmother was an African woman and a slave, or that he experienced racism.  He wrote Georges, set in Mauritius, which addresses race in a way many of his other works do not.

Top Ten Tuesday (129): Books I Picked up on a Whim

TTT starsTop Ten Tuesdays is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  This week is about the books I found and read without seeing a review or recommendation first.

  1. Here, There Be Dragons by James A. Owen: The mysterious death of a professor draws together three strangers from Oxford, John, Jack, and Charles.  Informed by a friend of the professor’s that they are now the Caretakers of an atlas of imaginary lands called the Imaginarium Geographic, the three set sail for the Archipelago of Dreams, where all the places of myth and literature exist.
  2. 100 Cupboards by N. D. Wilson: A boy discovers portals to other worlds in his room.
  3. The Chosen by Chaim Potok: The modern classic of two Jewish boys growing up.
  4. Lost in the Sun by Lisa GraffSeven months ago Trent accidentally killed a boy. How can he start over?
  5. A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd: Magic used to flow throughout the town of Midnight Gulch.  When twelve-year-old Felicity Pickle arrives, she hopes that enough magic remains to cure her mother of her wandering heart
  6. The Night Gardener by Jonathan AuxierOrphans Molly and Kip arrive at an old English estate to take up their new jobs as servants.  But someone walks the house at night and the family all seem to be rapidly losing their health.  Can Molly and Kip break an ancient curse or will they become the latest casualties of the night man?
  7. The Thickety: A Path Begins by J. A. White:  When Kara discovers a book of spells she must decide if she will exact revenge on the people who have wronged her or risk everything to save them.
  8. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne ValenteOne day the Green Wind catches up September and takes her to Fairyland where the Marquess has stolen the spoon the witches use to see the future.  September agrees to travel to the capital and retrieve the spoon, but somewhere along the way she realizes that her quest has grown bigger than she anticipated.
  9. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart: Four children take on an evil genius.
  10. Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C. S. Forester: Seventeen-year-old Horatio Hornblower embarks on his first naval adventure as England anticipates war with France.

Top Ten Tuesday (128): Books Every Dessert-Lover Should Read

  1. TTT starsTop Ten Tuesdays is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  This week check out our recommendations for lovers of dessert and all things sweet!

    Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff: Albie wants to impress his parents, but he’s not very good at anything.  In his words, he’s just a kid who likes doughnuts.

  2. A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd: Midnight Gulch used to be a place of magic.  Now it’s just a place that Felicity hopes to call home.  But is it true that the local ice cream might still be a bit magical?
  3. A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff: In Cady’s world, everyone has a Talent for something.  Hers allows her to match a person with the perfect cake.  But can she match herself with a new father?
  4. Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood: Rosemary’s family has a secret cookbook featuring magical recipes.  But when Rosemary and her siblings secretly try out a few, things don’t go exactly as planned.
  5. The Candymakers by Wendy Mass: Four children enter a competition to make the tastiest candy.
  6. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery: Anne Shirley just wants to bake a cake to impress the new minister and his wife.  But when Anne is involved, nothing ever seems to turn out right.
  7. Pie by Sarah Weeks: When Alice’s aunt dies, she leaves the recipe for her famous pie crust to her cat Lardo–and leaves Lardo to Alice.  Can Alice discover the secret to the recipe?
  8. The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop by Kate Saunders: When Lily and Ox inherit their great-great uncles’ famous chocolate shop, they find themselves facing down villains who want the recipes for the magic chocolates.
  9. Drizzle by Kathleen Van Cleve: Polly leaves on a magic rhubarb farm where the rhubarb tastes like chocolate her best friend is a talking rhubarb plant.  But if it doesn’t rain soon, her family will lose the farm.
  10. All Four Stars by Tara Dairman: Unknown to her parents, eleven-year-old Gladys Gatsby can cook gourmet meals.  Then one day she receive  an offer to review a restaurant.  Can she sneak into NYC by herself?

Top Ten Tuesday (127): Recent Five-Star Reads

TTT stars

Top Ten Tuesdays is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.

seven of My most recent five-star reads

Cymbeline by William Shakespeare: An exiled noble makes a wager with another man, one Iachimo, that he cannot seduce his wife, the princess Imogen (because…why wouldn’t you make a wager granting leave for some guy to harass your wife?).

The Maid’s Tragedy by Beaumont and Fletcher: A young nobleman forsakes his betrothed and marries another woman, only to discover that she refuses to perform her marital duty as she is mistress to the king.  But can a man revenge himself upon his monarch?

The Revenger’s Tragedy by Thomas Middleton (probably): Vindice, a wronged nobleman, takes on the disguise of a pander in an attempt to avenge the deaths of his father and his betrothed Gloriana.  He walks about talking to Gloriana’s skull to make sure his desire for revenge stays sharp.

The Changeling by Middleton and Rowley: Beatrice has her betrothed Alonso murdered so she marry another, but then the murderer demands she sleep with him if she wants to maintain her secret.  Very weird, very disturbing.  Such is Renaissance tragedy.

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson: People can make chalk drawings almost come to life!  Or at least they battle with them, using artistry and geometry!

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson: An enthralling fantasy set in a vivid and detailed world.

The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson: A Forger must create her greatest masterpiece yet–a new soul, a new identity for the emperor.

Top Ten Tuesday (126): Books I Need to Talk about More

TTT stars

Top Ten Tuesdays is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.

Ten Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Haven’t Talked About Enough/In A While

  • Anne of Green Gables  by L. M. Montgomery: Ok, I mention loving this book a lot, but I’m not sure I advocate for it very often.  I also think I should talk about Montgomery’s other books more (even though, uh, we did have that whole L.M. Montgomery event once…)
  • The Chosen by Chaim Potok: Potok is one of my favorite authors, and I absolutely loved this book. However, I never reviewed it for the blog.
  • Villette by Charlotte Bronte: Ok, ok. We had that whole Bronte event, too.  But I think Jane Eyre gets all the attention and we should be talking about some other books  here.
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Anonymous (Or, the Gawain Poet): I love medieval literature but don’t talk about it too much on the blog because, you know, not a big draw.  However, this is a seriously good story (and Tolkien has a great translation!), and I think a lot of people would enjoy it.
  • Princess Academy by Shannon Hale: Between us, Krysta and I have probably reviewed everything Shannon Hale has written.  However, I think I could talk about the gloriousness of her YA books a lot more often.
  • Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce:  I hadn’t reviewed any Tamora Pierce  on the blog until just a couple months ago, and then I did the Protector of the Small series. Yet Pierce was one of my favorite childhood authors and very influential in my love of fantasy.
  • Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: Again, one of the most influential authors I read during my childhood, but she’s been a little overlooked here at Pages Unbound. (Though we did review A Tale of Two Castles.)
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart: One of the cleverest and most fun books I’ve read, it’s a hit even with people who don’t normally read middle grade. I wish I could recommend it more.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: This book probably doesn’t need any more advocates, but I’m going to put forth my love for it anyway.
  • The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien: I talk about my love for Tolkien all the time. (I mean, we’re running a two-week Tolkien event right now), but I haven’t talked a lot about The Silmarillion, and I definitely need to re-read it sometime.

Top Ten Tuesday (125): Religious Diversity

TTT stars

Top Ten Tuesdays is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  I was inspired for this week’s topic by Bri’s post about the need to see more characters of faith in YA:

TOP TEN BOOKS if you’re in the mood for religious diversity

  1. My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok: The author of The Chosen brings us a story about a Hasidic Jew who must navigate the expectations of his faith and his need to paint.  His other books also present protagonists growing up Jewish.
  2. The Mira’s Diaries series by Marissa Moss: A Jewish girl discovers she has inherited a gene for time travel and learns about Jewish history in the process.
  3. The Father Brown mysteries by G. K. Chesterton: Fans of Sherlock Holmes will enjoy this series featuring a priest who solves mysteries.
  4. Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah: I haven’t read this one, but finding a book with a Muslim protagonist that is not set in the Middle East is difficult.  This one follows an Australian teen after she decides to start wearing the hijab.
  5. The Anne of Green Gables series by L. M. Montgomery: Anne doesn’t know how to pray when she arrives at Green Gables, but throughout the series she relies on her faith in dark moments.
  6. Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson: It’s impossible not to mention the Muslim teen who’s a superhero and also a fan girl.
  7. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins: A boy with a Jewish background and a girl raised Catholic fall in love.
  8. The Fairy Tale Novels by Regina Doman: Doman’s modern fairy tale retellings are a little in-your-face with the Catholicism, but there is something appealing about protagonists who like classic novels and music.  Her publishing company Chesterton Press releases other books with Catholic characters, such as Catholic Philosopher Chick (Catholic chick lit).
  9. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi: An autobiographical graphic novel about Satrapi’s life in Iran after the Islamic Revolution.
  10. Pope Francis: I Believe in Mercy by Regina Doman and Sam Lam: Manga Hero publishes a variety of Catholic manga, from the story of Judith to the biography of Pope Benedict XVI to an original fantasy story.

Choosing only ten was difficult!  If you have more recommendations, especially for those faiths that aren’t covered in this list, let us know in the comments!