Here it is, my first Top Ten Tuesday list! I’m a big fan of lists, and have a decent sized To Be Read (TBR) pile, so this one seemed like the perfect place to jump on the Top Ten Tuesday train (holy alliteration!). If you’re unfamiliar with Top Ten Tuesday, it was started over on The Broke and Bookish blog and has evolved into a staple in the blogging community. Clicking the Broke and Bookish blog title will bring you to the current Top Ten Tuesdays topic list. As with any TBR list, these books are not set in stone. Still, I am excited enough to read them that if I want to read anything else over the next few months, I’ll likely just make more time to read. These are listed in no particular order. Clicking on the author’s name next to the book title will direct you to that author’s homepage (with the exception of Malala, which will direct you to the Goodreads page for her book).
1. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
This murder mystery follows a woman named Libby who lost her mother and sisters in a religious murder suicide and later testified that her own teenage brother was responsible for her family members deaths. Decades later, Libby is given the opportunity to make some money from her experiences and goes digging through her past, only to discover that she may have been wrong about her family’s killer. I’m excited to read this book as I’ve always heard amazing things about Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, and have been told this is a good introductory book to Flynn’s writing. Mystery, religion and family issues are all things I enjoy reading about, so I’m pretty excited for this one.
2. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
This is the fifth installment to the Mortal Instruments series, with the sixth book (City of Heavenly Fire ) set to be released on May 25th 2014. I’ve had this book on my Kindle for a while, but I’ve been hesitant to pick it up. I am still enjoying the series, but some of the religious overtones in the fourth book felt a bit forced to me. Still, I’m curious to see where this book will take Clary, Jace and all the other characters I’ve come to enjoy.
3. Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
I’ve been anxious to read this one for a while, and I’m not sure why I haven’t picked it up yet. The cover throws me back to my younger reading self who thrived on creepy, dark, against-the-grain sort of reads. Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children follows a boy named Jacob who recently lost his beloved grandfather. While he was alive, Jacob’s grandfather showed him eerie pictures and had a story for each from back when he himself was a boy. After his grandfather’s passing, Jacob goes to his grandfather’s home town to unveil secret’s about his grandfather’s life and discover things about the eerie looking children, who are alive and not as Jacob would have expected. I’ve heard amazing things about Ransom Riggs writing and am thinking this book will be a fresh take on the YA genre. The second book in the Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children series, titled Hollow City was released earlier this year.
4. The Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts
I just recently discovered this book, and I was hooked the second I read the synopsis. If I wasn’t already in the middle of a couple of books, I would have downloaded it to my Kindle right then and there. Based on true events, The Medea Complex follows the story of a woman named Anne who was committed to an insane asylum in 1885 as she was not fit to stand trial for crimes she committed. Now Anne, her husband and psychologist must uncover what happened during the crime in question and ultimately, determine Anne’s fate. This historical fiction thriller mash-up is high on my priority list and a bit different from what I’ve been reading lately.
5. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
After going back and forth on whether or not to read this trilogy for the last few months, I recently bit the bullet and picked up a copy of Shatter Me. This story is a YA dystopian is centered around Juliette, a seventeen year old girl with an ability to kill with a simple touch. While it is unclear as to why Juliette’s touch is lethal, the government decides she is too much of a risk and confines her to a cell while the world around her is falling apart with little help from those in charge. Juliette must decide what type of role she wants to play in her world – a victim or a fighter. I am curious to see how this world plays out. I have heard many great things about Mafi’s writing style, and am curious to see how the story plays out.
6. The Archived by Victora Schwab
This is another YA book I’ve heard a lot of great things about, but haven’t read yet. Perhaps it is because the concept seems so unique and fascinating, yet equally intimidating. The Archived is the first in a series that follows a teenage Keeper named Mac. Keepers are in charge of keeping the dead (or Histories) appropriately “cataloged” in the Archive. As a sort of graveyard attendant and paranormal expert rolled into one, Mac must keep harmony in the Archive while discovering who is purposely trying to destroy valuable parts of it. This story seems vast, rich and undiscovered.
7. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Name of the Wind is an epic fantasy novel following a man named Kvothe who is on a journey to reveal the mysteries surrounding his parents deaths. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial and later encounters a Fae (fairy) woman who he can resist, the first of his kind. The decisions Kvothe makes will lead him further down his path of self discovery, toward the man he was meant to be. I’m a big fan of epic fantasy novels, and this one seems to have everything I could want in a well written fantasy world.
8. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
I have been wanting to read some of Brandon Sanderson’s work for a while now. Like Patrick Rothfuss, I often hear Sanderson mentioned as one of the big names in modern fantasy writing. I have decided to tackle Elantris as my first Sanderson read because it’s a stand alone novel., which isn’t seen very often in fantasy stories. Elantris was once a capitol city that has fallen from grace as it’s inhabitants are not what they used to be. Elantris’s Prince Raoden is determined to pick up the pieces from this decade long plague among his people. In the new capitol of Kae, Princess Sarene believes her once betrothed Prince Raoden has succumbed to the same inflictions as everyone else in his ruined city and passed on. When it is discovered that the prince is indeed alive, Princess Sarene must tread lightly to protect both her own interests and the life of her Prince. This story intrigues me because while it is a fantasy novel, it spans a shorter amount of time than most and, as Sanderson’s website notes, does not follow the typical epic fantasy themes of a long quest or a hero out for glory.
9. I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by I am Malala Goodreads Page
I haven’t read a memoir in about a year, and this easily became my first choice when I learned about it’s release. Malala was just fifteen years old when the Taliban occupied her town. Instead of quietly going along with whatever she was told to do, she risked her life by standing up for herself and her right to an education. As a result, she was shot in the head. When everyone thought she would die, she somehow made a wonderful recovery and is now working with the United Nations to insure others, particularly young Pakistani girls, are not denied an education. I have seen Malala speak several times through various news outlets over the past two years, and each time I am humbled by her clarity and kind nature. While I’m a bit intimidated by the intense nature of her book, I feel it is an essential read.
10. Looking for Alaska by John Green
Over the years, I have become a huge fan of John (and Hank!) Green since I first discovered their vlogs on YouTube in 2008. When I first read The Fault In Our Stars, I was moved by the depth of the characters, the realism of the story and the fluid nature of John’s writing style. Looking for Alaska is John’s first published novel. The story follows a boy name Miles who doesn’t seem to have much confidence in himself or where his life is going. When he gets to boarding school and meets the gorgeous, outgoing and confident Alaska, his world begins to change. I’m curious to see how a seemingly rebellious (or at least adventurous?) girl named Alaska manages to break Miles out of his shell. What their friendship may spark in Miles that is worth reading about.
There you have it, my first Top Ten Tuesday list. What books are you most excited to read this spring?