With your hosts...
Lena @ Mom2MemphisandRuby
Amanda @ Dragon Flight Dreams
Onto my top 10!
1. God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo
The single best book I have ever read. Ever.
This book fully changed my life. If you have ever loved another person, you will love this book. If you've ever felt that strange sensation of dread in your gut, like you know something life changing is about to happen, you will love this book. If you love music, art, and and anything beautiful, you will love this book.
And if you've ever fallen in love with a character from a book, you'll know what I mean when I say that Jacob Grace is the kind of man that comes along once (if at all) in a lifetime, and he'll change you just by knowing him.
I'm a huge Tiffanie DeBartolo fan. Her second book, "How to Kill a Rockstar" is extraordinary, though not as life changing and intense as God-Shaped Hole. I could talk about her for hours. She writes truth to the core - totally raw and real and intense. Excellent book.
Disclaimer: if cussing, (non graphic) sex, and rock and roll don't suit you - these two books may not be for you. BUT if you're not easily offended, the language and actions really do color the plot in a brilliant way.
2. IV by Chuck Klosterman
Switching gears for a moment (you'll find I do that often), IV by Chuck Klosterman is actually the book that I'm reading right now - I think for the fourth time. I'm using this title, because it's the one that I'm focused on this minute, but all of his books are great - and it's because his writing is quick, smart, and really funny. Really funny. I laughed out loud on the train home from work the other day. I'm sure that other passengers thought that I was crazy, but it's okay. It was worth it. "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs" is another one of my favorites of his.
He also writes a really bizarre essay about Billy Joel that I don't know if I like or hate, but I love it. Does that make sense?
If you are 1. pop culture fanatic or 2. a fan of rock music in general or 3. born between 1976 and 1984 you will enjoy this book. If you are younger, some references may not make much sense, but we oldies will get it.
3. Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
Chuck Palahniuk is brilliant. He's the guy behind "Fight Club", but he's also the mastermind behind many many many other books that I'm obsessed with. One of which is "Invisible Monsters".
This is a hard story to just 'sum up' without giving away plot twists and an amazing story, so I'll just tell you this: A beautiful fashion model is driving down the highway and gets shot in the face. She's left, jawless, faceless, and bleeding. Drives herself to the hospital where she recovers and is left to have a life without a bottom jaw. They try to teach her to speak without her bottom jaw, and it's there that she meets transgendered Queen Supreme, Brandy Alexander.
And then, a lot of crazy stuff happens. Drugs, siblings, real estate agents, drag queens, lies, kidnapping, theft.
It's a truly brilliant story, woven by a true master.
4. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
When I read this book, I am inconsolable for hours. Seriously. I weep. I don't think I can say much more than that.
This is the story of a boy living in the Ozarks, and his two hounds, Big Dan and Little Ann. It's a book for young readers, I think I first read it when I was in fourth or fifth grade, but it still cuts me to the heart every time I read it, or think about it really. There is nothing more special that your relationship with your dogs, and as I write this with both of mine curled up beside me, it rings even more true that usual.
If you haven't read it, and you're willing to spend a little time having a good, hard, overwhelming cry... please read it. It's worth every tear.
Here is a blog post that a girl I know wrote for the school library journal about this amazing little book.
5. The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
I couldn't pick just one, it would be like choosing your favorite child, but technically, I guess that Order of the Phoenix is my favorite.
The HP series spoke to me on a very personal level and helped to shape me as a writer. I love these books. I love what they symbolize in my life, and I love JK Rowling for writing them.
6. Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan
Let me preface this by saying, if you only saw the movie version of "The Lightening Thief", you are truly missing out. That movie was made of suck and didn't accurately represent the awesomeness of this series.
Percy Jackson. Wow. If you like Greek Mythology and young adult fiction, you will be enamored with this series as I was. Percy is perfectly flawed, at times a total idiot, and a hero. No really... a hero. Like a demigod. Son of Poseidon. These books are wonderful.
(Yes, I do recognize that most of my faves are young adult fiction, okay? I love it. I suppose this is a blog for another day.)
7. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
This is a really important book. It's artistic, beautiful, and seems to speak to me on a cellular level on every page. There are reminders that being an adult doesn't mean that you have to stop seeing things just as they are, and that one sees most clearly with the heart. "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
I especially love this book because B reads it to me sometimes when I'm sick or can't get rest. His voice is relaxing, and this story is so soothing. There's nothing I don't love about it.
8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I swear, we are infinite.
So, the movie coming out based on on this book looks like it's going to rock. It's starring
Hermione Granger Emma Watson as Sam, and Percy Jackson The kid that played Percy Jackson (in the crappy movie referenced above) as Charlie. I've seen the trailer. It looks brilliant. And it's set in Pittsburgh - my hometown that owns my heart. How much better can you get?
Charlie is an awkward youth that has a hard time fitting in, until he meets friends that change his world. This is an AMAZING read for any one that's ever felt the desire to be accepted and the joy of finding the friends that make you feel infinite.
I read this book with the friend that I talk about here. We had a "book club" (that was just the two of us and wasn't really a book club) that we called the Snazzy Book Club. We read many things together, but this was by far our favorite. This and "the gay Beaches" (I clearly don't remember the real title of it...) So I maybe feel a little sentimental about it because of him too.
9. The Host by Stephanie Meyer
Just bear with me here. This is a brilliant book.
A total departure from the Twilight Series (I refuse to call it the Twilight Saga, it makes it sound so needlessly melodramatic.) The Host is a gut wrenching, moving, and well done. It's a total departure, writing wise, for Meyer, in my opinion anyway.
I fell in love with Wanderer immediately. She has a magnetism that you just can't deny. Her love for her hosts family is so real and sincere that you don't question her motives even for a moment.
I love this book. It's beautiful. And there are no vampires or werewolves in it.
10. Lamb, The Gospel according to Biff, Christ's childhood pal by Christopher Moore
Before anyone gets upset, this isn't a completely irreverent look at Christianity. Please don't sent me hate mail.
B and I went to see Christopher Moore at a booksigning here in NYC. He was hilarious and approachable. He actually asked me if we had met before, and looked at me through squinted eyes for an extra long time. I hope I reminded him of someone that he liked, because I know for sure we hadn't met before.
Did I distract you from how mad you were before? No? Ah well.
Here's what's up - this book is hilarious, totally irreverent, and a really interesting insight, yes I said insight, into what Jesus might have been like. I have no illusions that this is at all real or credible, it's a humor book, for crying out loud. But Joshua (Jesus) is warm, smart, sensitive, and curious. He learns so so much throughout his journey with Biff, and they get into some pretty hilarious situations.
It's not for everyone, mind you. But it's great. If you go into it reminding yourself that you're reading a work of humorous fiction and just let yourself enjoy the really funny story, you'll be okay.
I'm sure even God has a sense of humor.
There are a few runners up that didn't make it onto this list, which bums me out. The Hunger Games Series, Eating Animals, and Narnia would be 11, 12, and 13 for sure.
Until next Tuesday, my loves...