Friday, October 29, 2010

Top Ten MommaBean Reads in the Last Year

So, I love to read. Given choice of 10 exciting things to do, I would pick up a book in a heartbeat. Generally, I read alot of romance novels in the year. An old English teacher called romance novels bubblegum for the mind. I can't disagree with the assumption. But, have no fear, I won't be recommending any formula fiction for this top ten reads. This year, through a group of friends, I've gotten into reading more meaty works. They aren't necessarily hard books, there's just more to them than the romance novels. It's been fun. So, I thought I'd share some of my favorites. Oh, and to give you a cope for the amount that I read, I ran out of romances before I left for the states. During October, I've read 8 real books. Some of them were quite long. I seem to average a book every 3.5 days (3/4 of the books have taken me 3 days, 1/4 have taken 5). Romance novels usually take me no more than 2 days... So, here's the list of things I'd recommend from my reads so far in 2010.
  1. Water for Elephants: This is an excellent book. I mentioned it in my previous post. The author wrote this novel in one month. Yep, 30 days and she wrote one of my favorite books in forever. As I said at the time, I never knew I wanted to read a book about the circus in the early 20th century... but I did. This is a great read, engaging story, and not difficult.
  2. The Book Thief: Another great book. This one, however, requires a shift of perspective that is challenging at first. It is written from the perspective of death, which takes some getting used to. On the other hand, death has a very dry wit, apparently. I'd recommend this for anyone who has a VERY firm grasp on English and enjoys having their assumptions challenged.
  3. The Twentieth Wife: I read this one this month. On loan from a friend, I read everything she had to offer, whether I thought I'd like it or not. This one was truly a gem. It is about a woman who marries a King. Very interesting the journey and her story.
  4. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: I loved this book. El 3atal found it hard to get into. He felt like the translator missed the boat in some areas and seems to have given up on it. For me, I found the story so compelling that I didn't even notice the errors, and trust me that's saying something. I also loved the 2 sequels to this one. Thanks SwedeBean for giving these to me to read.
  5. The Time Traveler's Wife: This is another perspective bending book. It is about a man who travels through time and his relationship with the woman he eventually marries. It's a strange book that transports you to odd places that you keep feeling like you've been before - because you have. It's an excellent read.
  6. The White Queen: Philippa Gregory has carved out a niche for herself with her novels about royalty in England of long ago. Her novel, the Other Boelyn Girl rocketed her into stardom. Each one of her novels takes on a different queen. I've found each of them engaging and they give you a feel for what life could have been like in their time. I very much enjoyed this book. It is one of my favorites among her work.
  7. The Glass Castle: This one was not one of my favorites. However, it was very well written. The abject poverty and growing up too fast theme didn't grab me. Perhaps there were home truths that I didn't want to feel... Some stories I just don't want to take so personally.
  8. A Thousand Splendid Suns: This book about Afghanistan is the story of two women who end up married to the same man. I have to say that I found it depressing. There is a message of perseverance, dignity, and hope in the end, but it's a long way getting there. It is well written, but it isn't one I'll read again...
  9. Anne of Green Gables: I've been reading this one with the Beans and couldn't help myself. It's one of my favorites as a child. This is an excellent book about an orphan who finds a family, love, and a new life on Price Edward Island in Canada. I highly recommend this for all young girls.
  10. Can You Keep a Secret: I love, love, love this book. Rather than serious fiction, this is a lighthearted story about a young woman who blurts out all of her secrets to her seatmate on a plane in the middle of terrifying turbulence. It turns out, he's the owner of her company. In the spirit of full disclosure, I first read this book in 2005. However, when I find myself at loose ends or needing a pick-me-up book, I always come back to it. I've probably read it 1/2 dozen times by now.
So there's my top ten read this year. Anyone care to add something to the list? Fair warning, those who add something will likely be expected to loan it to me ;). Get reading, Jordan!

Happy Top Tens!


At 1:22 AM , Blogger sheeshany said...

Thx 4 sharing,
The Time Traveler's Wife is awesome!

yr list is on my list :)


At 3:04 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Have you got any tips for finding books in Jordan? I wish there were a used book store somewhere. Books are SO expensive!

At 4:43 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome List! I have read some of the books on there. I'm happy to see that someone else has read The Twentieth Wife, I also read The Splendor of Silence by the same author and loved it!

I will have to check out some of the other books!

At 12:45 PM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Haitham, glad to hear you'll enjoy some of these.

Rebecca, best I can give you is join a consortium of people who loan out their books? If you drop me an e-mail, I can help with this. I have a bunch I'd be willing to loan out ;).

Wintersamar, I loved the 20th wife. If I can get my hands on another byt he author, I'll definitely check it out... Hope you enjoy.


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