Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Top Ten Books I am Thankful for!!!!


Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.
There are many reasons to love a book.  Perhaps it is because it makes you feel some sort of emotion or maybe it takes you on an adventure the way only a book can do.  Below are the Top 10 books that have stayed with me long after I finished reading them.  They have either taught me something about myself or about the human condition that has lingered with me. My list is a hodge-podge of different Genres (yes, I like to read them all) that I absolutely loved.  What are your top 10 favorites?  Why do you like them?

The Harry Potter Series
by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility. All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley - a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry - and anyone who reads about him - will find unforgettable. For it's there that he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter.
 Why I loved it: This is my all time favorite series.  I love it because it is so original.  When reading it, I became Harry, Hermione, and Ron all at once.  Magical!!!

The Hunger Games Trilogy
by Suzanne Collins

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the other districts in line by forcing them to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight-to-the-death on live TV. One boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and sixteen are selected by lottery to play. The winner brings riches and favor tohis or her district. But that is nothing compared to what the Capitol wins: one more year of fearful compliance with its rule. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her impoverished district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. Acclaimed writer Suzanne Collins, author of the New York Times bestselling Underland Chronicles, delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this stunning novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.
 Why I loved it: This book, to me, was so unique.  I actually didn't think I would even like it.  Boy was I wrong.  I love it because it really makes you think about society and the dangers of complacency.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie

In his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by acclaimed artist Ellen Forney, that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.
 Why I loved it: I love this for many reasons.  I love that Alexie paints a true picture of what it's like growing up Native in today's society and of the unique struggles of Native youth.

Anne of Green Gables Series
by L.M. Montgomery

Everyone's favorite redhead, the spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over.
 Why I loved it: This is one of my all time favorite books.  I just wanted to go and live on P.E. Island and be an orphan when I read it.  It is beautifully written. Anne Shirley is a character that has stayed with me, with her words often echoing in my head, even after 30 years of first reading about her.


Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by   Ransom Riggs

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children , an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow--impossible though it seems--they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
 Why I loved it: This book is so unique that it's hard to describe.  The author uses photography and words to tell a wonderful story.  I'm hoping for a sequel.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

In picturesque nineteenth-century New England, tomboyish Jo, beautiful Meg, fragile Beth, and romantic Amy come of age while their father is off to war.
Why I loved it:  This is another book from my childhood that has stayed with me.  I just loved the family dynamic and the portrayal of the relationship between the March sisters.  I read the whole series but loved this one the most.  

   Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell 

Margaret Mitchell's epic novel of love and war won the Pulitzer Prize and went on to give rise to two authorized sequels and one of the most popular and celebrated movies of all time. Many novels have been written about the Civil War and its aftermath. None take us into the burning fields and cities of the American South as Gone With the Wind does, creating haunting scenes and thrilling portraits of characters so vivid that we remember their words and feel their fear and hunger for the rest of our lives. In the two main characters, the white-shouldered, irresistible Scarlett and the flashy, contemptuous Rhett, Margaret Mitchell not only conveyed a timeless story of survival under the harshest of circumstances, she also created two of the most famous lovers in the English-speaking world since Romeo and Juliet.
 Why I loved it: This was actually the first adult book I had ever read. I was in the 8th grade and told my mother I was sick so I could stay home and read.  I read it in two days!!! One of the best books ever written. I love the characters, and the brilliant descriptions & telling of one of the most important periods in U.S. history.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis

Four adventurous siblings;Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie;step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice. Open the door and enter a new world!
Why I loved it:  I love this book because it is so magical.  Lewis creates a world that we can see in our minds. 

   The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all. Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he's seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line. Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home--and his own art--through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it's up to Ivan to make it a change for the better. Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan's unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.
 Why I loved it: This book is poignant. The words and message become written on your heart.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

TIME Magazine's #1 Fiction Book of 2012! The Fault in Our Stars is a love story, one of the most genuine and moving ones in recent American fiction, but it's also an existential tragedy of tremendous intelligence and courage and sadness." Lev Grossman, TIME Magazine Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
 Why I loved it: I love that love can find you even when you don't want it to.  I expected nothing less from John Green