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Top Ten Books On My Spring To Be Read List

What books are on your to read list right now?

The recent signs of spring have me extra energized to tackle my To Be Read Pile. I’m a pretty avid reader, and I recently discovered the blog, The Broke and the Bookish, who hosts a Top Ten list every Tuesday focused on various book themes. Today we’re talking about the Top Ten Books On Our Spring To Be Read List. I don’t know about you, but I have the hardest time whittling down what book to read next because I want to read All. The. Books!!^$?!

worlds largest latteIf I drink All. The. Coffee. I will never have to sleep again!
I can just read and read and read and read…

Hmm, maybe not.

But here are the Top Ten Books on my Spring To Be Read List: 

1. Persuasion by Jane Austen

The last of Jane Austen’s six novels I have yet to read. Once I finish the story of Anne Eliot I will have completed her most well known works and can move on to some of her novellas like Sandition and Lady Susan. Judging from the film versions I’ve seen (many times), Captain Wentworth is indeed worth waiting for.

2. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Claimed as the new Eleanor & Park meets The Fault in our Stars, I’ve been hungry to read this book for awhile but busy finishing up some other titles. I even bought this one in hardcover. I don’t even really like hardcover. I’m a paperback girl. I just wanted to read this one that badly. It’s the story of two teens – one a total loner who contemplates death and looks to the future with a strict eye, the other a free spirit who lives in the moment and sees life as an adventure. Their worlds are about to collide. I want to find out what happens!

3. Cress by Marissa Meyer

The third book in The Lunar Chronicles; I’m committed now. I absolutely loved the first book, Cinder. I thought the second book, Scarlet, was ok. But friends assure me that Cress is worth the read. A futuristic spinoff of classic fairytales, this is the continuing adventure of a cyborg named Cinder who is on the run after the evil Lunar Queen, Levana, has a call out for her head and plans to marry the good-intentioned Emperor Kai. With the help of some fellow misfits, will Cinder overtake Levana before the Queen takes over their world?

4. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

It’s been too long since I’ve read any Neil Gaiman and I must remedy that. What’s more intriguing than a pond that becomes an ocean? As a middle-aged man returns home for a funeral, he is reminded of the people he grew up with and the stories they each told.

5. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Bestseller in the early 2000’s, all my friends read this one, but I didn’t. I was afraid I couldn’t handle the subject matter. But this winter I happened upon the book in a Little Free Library near my house and decided it was time I checked it out. Despite its serious subject matter, I’m really looking forward to reading this one.

6. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Long before there was Christian Grey, the leading man with the wealth and power was Dorian Gray. A favorite old film of mine, the black and white version of course, I’m excited to read the novel for the first time. This title was selected by my book club as our classic this year and I’m really looking forward to our discussion.

7. The Wild Truth by Carine McCandless

Another book I had to get in hardcover because I couldn’t wait. I’m a huge fan of author Jon Krakauer, who wrote Into the Wild, the story of Chris McCandless. Now, Chris’s sister, Carine, has written her own telling of her family’s history and the days leading up to her brother’s nomadic life.

8. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

A few years ago I had a year of comedy, where half of the books I read were humorous memoirs. I think this year may be my year of YA. I’ve got so many young adult books on my list. And one of them is Eleanor & Park. Even the colored pencil sketch cover looks like spring to me. How could I possibly say no to a love story between two misfit teens when the leading lady has red hair?

9. Wildalone by Krassi Zourkova

I’m not shy about admitting the fact that I disliked Jane Eyre. I know, I know, such sacrilege from an English major! What can I say? I’m more of a Heathcliffe/Wuthering Heights kinda girl. However, I really enjoyed This House is Haunted which is an adaptation of Jane Eyre, and Wildalone has some notes of Eyre as well. I do enjoy a good paranormal read and this one seems intriguing!

10. The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry 

I’m embarrassed to admit how long this beautiful book has sat on my TBR shelf. It’s been an alternate in the TBR Challenge for 2 years and since I never had to use my alternates I didn’t get to it. This year I made it part of my challenge, determined to finally read it. I love the idea that the lead character can see ghosts by cooking up recipes from them. And this is what sets her off on a journey of family secrets.

*****

That’s my Top 10 books to read this spring.
What titles are on your spring list? 

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Where Do Books Come From?

      Last night I was reading more of Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.  Instead of picking up on the chapter I left off, I flipped to the back and started reading the acknowledgments Gruen wrote.

Psst.  I also have a secret habit of reading the last sentence of a book before I get there.  I know, I shouldn’t, but then when I really do get to the end and re-read that last sentence, it’s like coming home.  I refuse to stop, don’t try to make me.  

In Gruen’s acknowledgments, she first related how she came up with the idea for the story.  She read an article in the newspaper about Edward J. Kelty, a photographer who traveled along with circuses in America during the 1920’s and 30’s.  She became so transfixed with a photo in the paper, she immediately went out and bought two circus photography books.  From there, the passion took over.  She spent around 4-6 months researching everything circus, including visiting the Circus Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin, which isn’t that far from where I live, so my honey and I are going to plan a weekend getaway to check it out!  She spent a few weeks in Sarasota, Florida at the Ringling Museum and time at the Kansas City Zoo getting to study elephant body language and behavior.  Want to start your own circus project?  I kind of do.  I’m fascinated with the book so far, and was intrigued that a whole story began after viewing one photograph in the newspaper.

Doesn't just a little part of you want to trade places with this performer for a day? To say you rode an elephant in a circus!

I’m sure most of you heard the genesis about how Twilight series author, Stephanie Meyer began her books.  She had a dream that was used in the meadow scene with Edward and Bella.  She also spent time in Forks, Washington, the book’s setting, and now the community has more tourists than ever coming to see the houses and school Bella “went” to.

I'd write a book too if I was dreaming of Robert Pattinson!

One of my all time favorite books is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.  I’ll actually be re-reading it this month for a book club.  Skloot spent 10 years doing research for this book and it all started with a science class.  She remembers her teacher wrote the name Henrietta Lacks on the board, and after that day no one knew a thing about her.  She spoke with ethics advisers, lab technicians, doctors, nurses, lawyers, and eventually family members to piece together a story so crucial to the medical industry and never told to the woman’s own family.  Just a name on a blackboard launched an investigation into a multi-million dollar industry and one well-kept secret.

Her research went on to conduct interviews, review medical records, visit the hometown of Henrietta, and eventually make contact and earn trust of the Lacks family, thereby viewing journal entries of Henrietta’s daughter and family footage and photos.  I am just floored by the amount of devotion Skloot put forward to make a difference in the lives of the Lacks family and to tell a story that helped shape every medical advancement you can think of.  You really MUST read this book!

What I’m wondering is what was the moment that hooked you into your writing project?  Did you read something in the paper, have a dream, see a name on the blackboard?  Every writer is inspired differently, what inspired you?  And what was the next step that took that captivating idea into a work in progress/published book?

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