Top Ten Books That Should Be In Your Beach Bag | Top Ten Tuesday


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists.

Click here to see the upcoming topics!

This week we are talking about the top ten books that should be in your beach bag. The beauty of a beach read is that it is different for every one. I personally like mine light and fluffy but with some substance….not too light and fluffy. It needs to have good movement and hold my attention pretty well or else I’ll end up people watching.

In my case, these are books I look forward to reading. If you’ve already finished any of these, post a comment about it! I’ll probably need a forklift rather than a beach bag.

1. Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares – So, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series sank its claws into me several years ago. When I consider all The Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley books I read as a child, it’s not surprising. When I saw the latest about Lena, Carmen, Tibby, and Bridget, I immediately requested it through HCPL.

2. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen – I just finished Garden Spells by the same author. I anticipate another joyous read.

3. Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff – I’ve been on the waiting list with HCPL for a long time now. Also, Egypt and its royals have long fascinated me. Let’s not forget the Roman aspect!

4. The Help by Kathryn Stockett – It’s reigned on the NYT Best Sellers list for a few years now. I may just dare to put my name on the waiting list.

5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series by Stieg Larsson – Another best seller which has compelled people to buy and/or request it repeatedly. Plus, there’s the mystique of the late writer, Stieg Larsson.

6. The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks – I haven’t read much in the Fantasy genre. Just the size of my folks’ copy is formidable.Yet, I want to try it sometime this year.

7. Anything by James Patterson – As prolific as this guy is, I’ve yet to read any of his works. I’m open to suggestions!

8. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes – As I write, this tome sets upon my window sill. Someday. . .

9. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer – It’s pretty sad, I’m a woman who reads widely and I’ve not read this best seller. Well, I’ve not read the Southern Vampire series, either.

10. The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel – It’s taken me years to read this book simply because I own it. If I had to check it out from the library, I would’ve finished years ago.

 

 

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Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic


Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman | LibraryThing

Hoffman, A. (1995). Practical magic. New York: Putnam. 9780399140556

I admit – I approach Alice Hoffman with trepidation. My freshman English teacher assigned us the task of reading At Risk, a story of a young gymnast who contracts AIDS from a blood transfusion. After finishing, I cried and cried. Twelve years later, I read Blue Diary as one of her characters bore the name Jorie (like me). Okay, so she doesn’t write the happiest literature. Yet, numerous colleagues and friends encouraged me to read Practical Magic. It pleases me that I managed to read this book without copious tear shed.

When their parents die in a fire, sisters Sally and Gillian Owens come to live with their eccentric aunts in a 200-year old house built by their ancestress, Maria Owens. Their aunts are witches and help many “upstanding women” by casting spells on the sly.

Sally and Gillian grow up without rules but virtual outcasts. Gillian elopes, heading west of the Mississippi while Sally falls in love with a local guy, Michael, marries, and has two daughters – Antonia and Kylie. Michael dies and Sally blames the family heritage – witchcraft. Sally and her young girls move to New York. Ultimately, Gillian nor Sally can outrun their roots and must admit who they are and what they can do.

While bittersweet at times, Practical Magic is my favorite Alice Hoffman work. Hoffman created clear, likable, and relatable characters in Sally and Gillian. Her vivid settings acted as characters as well.  My favorite part came towards the end and involves Aunt Frances and Aunt Jet and the girl next door.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Coconut by Harry Nilsson

Places : Massachusetts, New York, Arizona

You might also like:

For more on Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic, check out the following sites:

Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet


Ford, J. (2009). Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet: A novel. New York: Ballantine Books. 9780345505330

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford | LibraryThing

I glimpsed a favorable review of this book in one of those professional journals we’re expected to read at work. With my interest piqued, I requested Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet through HCPL.

The book alternates between two different time periods. In 1986, Henry Lee approaches the Panama Hotel in Seattle just as the new owner brings to light items which Japanese Americans stowed before their evacuation to the internment camps. As a recent widower, Henry’s reverie is jolted and he springs into action, baffling his grown son Marty.

The other time period is 1942, just after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Twelve-year old Henry lives under the thumb of his very Chinese father. His parents no longer permit him to communicate in their tongue, insisting he must speak English always. Henry is on scholarship at the white kid school and he works in the cafeteria. Here, he meets the lovely Japanese-American Keiko Okabe. Their bond transcends ethnicity as they enjoy jazz and folks that don’t look exactly like themselves.

I enjoyed this story for the most part. Ford brought Henry, Marty, and Keiko to life brilliantly. The Seattle Jazz scene also fascinated me. It’s also easy to see what motivates the characters, even Henry’s nationalist father.

My only snide remark regards Marty participating in an Internet support group in his grieving. . . in 1986! Say what? I realize Marty’s a smart guy but this is too much of a stretch.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: YouTube – I Got it Bad and That Ain’t Good

Places : Seattle, Washington State, Idaho, New York City, China, Japan

You might also like:

For more on Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, check out the following sites:

Stephen Greenblatt’s Will in the World . . .


Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt | LibraryThing

Greenblatt, S., & Fernandez, P. J. (2004). Will in the world: How Shakespeare became Shakespeare. Prince Frederick, Md: Recorded Books. 9781419307607

I needed another audiobook. I also wanted non-fiction as I’m participating in the

2011 Non-Fiction Challenge

. When I saw a biography of Shakespeare, I was pleased. My love of the Bard has led me to take an elective on some of his plays and to the Folger Shakespeare Library.
Harvard professor Stephen Greenblatt discovers and fleshes out William Shakespeare by delving into Shakespeare’s works. Through his plays, Greenblatt sees a precocious son of a glover and a gifted wordsmith. By this method, the author argues that Shakespeare really wrote his own stuff.

My only complaint here is that since I’ve not read all of Shakespeare’s works, I didn’t recognize all the references or each nuance which supported Greenblatt’s argument. Nevertheless, I could see Shakespeare’s love for his daughter Susanna in plays such as King Lear and The Tempest. Also, I still marvel at the Bard’s genius in Hamlet and Othello.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Places: Merry Old England

 
You might also like:

 For more on Stephen Greenblatt’s Will in the World…, check out the following:

Top Ten Jerks In Literature | Top Ten Tuesday


 Top Ten Jerks In Literature ( all those jerky guys in books..those who truly WERE asshats and those who just acted like one but could be quite loveable)

Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers’ answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND fill out Mr. Linky …
 
If you can’t come up with ten, don’t worry about it—post as many as you can!
 
Check in for next week’s topic – May 17: Top Ten Favorite Minor Characters ( you know… all those great supporting character or a VERY minor character that might have been only in there a page or two but had an effect on you)
1. Daniel Cleaver of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’ Diary –  British singleton Bridget falls for her charming and handsome boss Daniel Cleaver. They get together but Daniel cheats on her. What a cad!
 
2. Jason Talbot of Sarah Dessen’s The Truth about Forever and Along for the Ride – This guy is so annoying! In his first appearance in Dessen’s world of “Lakeview,” he is Macy’s brainiac boyfriend. When Macy tells him that she loves him, Jason dumps her as she’s “clingy” and it “distracted it from his goals.” Then, he stood up Auden at the prom in Along for the Ride.
 
3. Charlie Grey of Anna Godbersen’s Bright Young Things – Throughout the book and probably through the rest of the series, I wanted to tell Astrid to dump this guy. He’s mean to his long-lost sister and his girlfriend – Astrid. Then, Charlie gets sloppy and fools around with someone he doesn’t even “like.”
 
4. Chapter Eleven of Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex –  He’s the older brother of Callie/Cal. Since he bankrupts the family business, he is simply called Chapter Eleven.
 
5. Moushumi Mazoomdar of Jhumpa Lahiri’s The NamesakeAdmittedly, Moushumi and Nikhil eventually marry because of their Benghali families. Still and all, Moushumi’s attentions stray from little more than boredom.
 
6. Caroline Lambert of Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections – Not that Caroline’s husband, Gary, is any prize himself. However, Caroline has Gary so henpecked that she gives daughters-in law a bad rap. Since she doesn’t want to go to her in-laws’ place for the holidays, Caroline sways her kids to want to stay home, too. Then, she withholds other things as well.
 
7. The Other Colin/T.O.C. of John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines – Another jerk who fools around on his girlfriend, the spectacular Lindsey Lee Wells.
 
8. Bob Ewell of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird – Need I say more?
 
9. Mrs Robinson of Charles Webb’s The Graduate – the cunning and demanding wife who seduces Benjamin Braddock not only cheats on her husband with the son of her husband’s business partner, she deigns to say Benjamin’s not good enough for her wholesome daughter, Elaine. When Benjamin and Elaine try to see each other, she falsely accuses Benjamin of heinous crime.
 
10. Ellsworth Toohey of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead – Manipulative, insidious, toxic . . . these are the first words that I use to describe Ellsworth Toohey. Also, he aims to bring down those pure of heart and spirit.

Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love: A novel


Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers | LibraryThing

Rivers, F. (2005). Redeeming love: A novel. Sisters, Or: Multnomah. 9781590525135

A number of my friends enjoy Christian Fiction. This is a genre I haven’t explored deeply. When I heard that Redeeming Love paralleled the Old Testament book of Hosea, I placed a request on it through HCPL.

Set during the California Gold Rush of the 1840s – 1850s, Rivers writes the story of Angel (Gomer), a beautiful prostitute, who is saved from a bordello by Michael Hosea, an honest farmer. Angel suffered much as she was sold into the trade as an eight-year old girl and trusts no one, especially not men. However, Michael hears God tell him he is to marry Angel. While he doesn’t exactly want to marry a “soiled dove,” Michael does as instructed. Although Michael treats her with love and respect, Angel can’t resist the depravity of her “previous life.” Michael relentlessly brings Angel back to his farm.

I wouldn’t call this a replica of Hosea but Rivers weaves the Gold Rush into the plot quite well. Also, Rivers paints her version of Gomer with living color. Through Angel, Rivers explores God’s grace and unfailing love. I could also detect Rivers’ previous experience as a secular romance writer. I also appreciated the expression of God’s love. Rivers nor her characters were preachy or sanctimonious and I thank God for that. Love scenes were present but so discreet that I didn’t even notice the first one – definitely for the Christian reader. This may not have been my favorite book for stylistic reasons (repetitive in words and events) but I did like the message.

Three and a Half Out of Five Pearls

Song: YouTube – Third Day – Gomer’s Theme

Places : New England, New York City, California

You might also like:

For more on Francine Rivers’ Redeeming love: A novel, check out the following sites:

Books I’m So Happy Were Recommended To Me | Top Ten Tuesday


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers’ answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND fill out Mr. Linky  . I
If you can’t come up with ten, don’t worry about it—post as many as you can!
May 10: Top Ten Jerks In Literature ( all those jerky guys in books..those who truly WERE asshats and those who just acted like one but could be quite loveable)

1. Across the Universe by Beth Revis – Oddly enough, the title itself was a turnoff for me. I’d heard the song and seen that weird movie. Still and all, one of my coworkers convinced me it had very little to do with either.

2. Holes by Louis Sachar – When I was a kid, I adored Louis Sachar. However, I didn’t think I’d feel the same. I read Holes soon after I graduated from college and before I got a regular job. It was fantastic and Sachar lived up to my childhood standards.

3. The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz – This was purely a recommendation from our literary mags that we’re required to read at work. Since the title suggests death, I wasn’t too crazy about the prospect of reading this. Yet, despite all the footnotes, I truly enjoyed this book.

4. The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles – Victorian lit isn’t really my bag but the same colleague who recommended Across the Universe suggested I read this one during Christmas break. It changed the way I read.

5. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh – I’m trying to step out of my fiction haven and more into Non-Fiction. When another one of my coworkers actually had me read a couple of pages from this book, I rushed over to check out the book. I’m still reading it but it’s a good read and Hsieh’s not pretentious.