"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

TTT: Ten places I enjoyed visiting in books

Reposting: I originally made this post on 10/13/14.

Places I have enjoyed visiting via books (and would love to visit in person.)


1. Savannah, Georgia thanks to the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. Written in 1994 this nonfiction book has the quirkiest cast of characters and highlights special places in town.

2. Venice, Italy. Admittedly who wouldn't want to visit this exotic location? However, John Berendt's second book The City of Falling Angels made me even more excited about my visit to the city. It is another nonfiction book, this one was published in 2005.


3. Australia. Bill Bryson's fun nonfiction book In a Sunburned Country made me want to drop everything and hop on a plane headed to Australia. I do realize that I am not only talking about a country here but also a continent but I do hope to take a very long visit to this sunny country some day so I will have lots of time to explore it.




4. and  5. Madagascar to see the huge baobab trees and the old camphor tree at the shrine in Atami, Japan. I learned about these huge, ancient trees because of the book Remarkable Trees of the World by Thomas Pakenham. In fact, after I read the book I decided I'd to try to visit all the trees listed in it.


6. Salem, Massachusetts. I never even thought about going to this historic American town until I read The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe set in modern times and in the past.


7. Lithuania. I love it when a book opens my mind to new information and places.  That is the case with Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys whose amazing book about how the Russian government tortured and moved thousands of families out of Lithuania to Siberia.


8. St. Petersburg, Russia. After reading The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean I decided that I HAD to visit its huge art gallery, The Hermitage Museum.


9. Paris, France. Of course I want to go to Paris and, of course, I want my husband with me, but if I could I would love to time travel to Paris in the 1920s. Then I could witness first hand what it was like to be around all the authors who made up the lost generation. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway is a first-hand account of those days.


10. Amsterdam. I want to go back now that I've read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.


11. The island of Thisby from the Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. Okay, I know it is a fictional location but I love the descriptions of it in the book and can picture every blade of grass.


12. Prince Edward Island from Anne of Green Gables. My mom visited the island and was charmed.


Saturday, February 23, 2019

Audiobook Review: There There by Tommy Orange

I am reeling. I just got done listening to There There by Tommy Orange and I don't know what to think and what to feel.

There There was one of the top ten books of 2018 and won the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. And it is a simply astonishing audiobook utilizing four narrators to cover the twelve main characters we meet in the novel.  Orange wanted to write a book about urban Indians, similar to those he knew growing up in Oakland himself. These Indians “came to know the downtown Oakland skyline better than we did any sacred mountain range, the redwoods in the Oakland hills better than any other deep wild forest.” The title of the book comes from a Gertrude Stein quote about Oakland, "there is no there there."

Each of the characters in There There are American Indians who come to life in their own chapters but soon we see that they are almost dancing around each other as the circle dance draws closer and closer to the final event, the Big Oakland Powwow. Some of the characters will come to dance in their regalia, others will come to fulfill work commitments, while others will come with mischief in their hearts.

The first character we meet is Tony, a kid with fetal alcohol syndrome that he calls "Drome." He scores low on the intelligence test but he knows what he knows and he loves his grandma who is raising him. He gets mixed up with some petty criminals who sell drugs and make plastic guns and plan to rob the powwow of the prize money. Right from the start we know to dread what will happen at the powwow. Other characters' stories emerge, too. Jacquie Red Feather and her half sister Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield who we meet the day, in 1969, that their mother takes them to Alcatraz Island to participate in takeover of the island by indigenous people. Later, after their mother's death, the sisters drift apart but plan to reunite at the powwow. Another character, Dene Oxendene wins a grant from the city to collect stories from the urban Indians living in Oakland. He plans to set up a sound-booth at the powwow to collect as many stories as he can, like the Story Corps project. Honestly there are so many characters and their stories intertwine so much, I can only imagine that my friends Jane and Betty, if they were reading the book, would need to take notes and to draw a character map. (I say this with love. We are in book club together and both of them are famous for taking scrupulous notes on much less complicated books than this one.)

What really sets the stage for this fantastic book, however, is the heartbreaking prologue, a ten-page riff of sorts on the 500-year history of the American Indian with all its genocide, dislocations, and racism. He begins the prologue with a description that only old people like me remember...the Indian head test pattern on TVs at the end of each night's programming. We revisit this test pattern later in the book when a character sees it and is struck by the wrongness of it. Orange concludes the prologue with this tongue-in-cheek comment:
Our heads are on flags, jerseys, and coins. Our heads were on the penny first, of course, the Indian cent, and then on the buffalo nickel, both before we could even vote as a people — which, like the truth of what happened in history all over the world, and like all that spilled blood from slaughter, are now out of circulation.
Throughout the novel, Orange steps in several times for interludes and digressions, to remind the reader that yes this book is a work of fiction but it is also true.

Why was I reeling by the end of the book? Because the story broke my heart but also stitched it back together. I didn't know if I should cry or cheer. One character, I think his name was Tommy (hmm?) really spoke to me about the importance of culture. His while life was adrift and almost completely wrecked by alcohol when he found drumming. In drumming he could finally hear his own heartbeat and in the process reclaimed himself. It breaks my heart to think about so many citizens of this country who don't want anyone to celebrate heritage unless it "their" heritage.

About the audiobook, I stumbled upon an interview conducted for BOT (Books on Tape) with the producer, Sarah Jaffre. I thought this question and answer were especially revealing about how special this book is in the audio format:

Did you have a clear vision from the beginning that this would be a multi-voice narration?
Absolutely. This explosive, gorgeously realized, utterly unique book is told by a kaleidoscopic range of voices, and it felt important that the audiobook stay true to the rich, clamorous sense of texture and vitality that’s so propulsive on the page, and capture the same messy, human window into a community pulsing with a wide variety of experiences, motivations, and perspectives that Tommy Orange has so beautifully crafted.

One more thing. I understand that Sherman Alexie, a favorite author who is much maligned right now for personal boundary issues, helped Tommy Orange as he prepared this book. Orange gave Alexie a shout-out, which I think is such a kind thing to do. So many people run away when someone is in trouble and Orange didn't do that.

I'll close with quotes found on bumper stickers at the Big Oakland Powwow...

 "My Other Vehicle Is a War Pony" 
and 
"Fighting Terrorism Since 1492."

RHS Book Club- April 2019



Thursday, February 21, 2019

Review and quotes: Lighthead

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from the book.
Th
e Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56.

Review, of sorts, to follow.

This is the book I'm highlighting right now---



Title: Lighthead by Terrance Hayes

Book Beginning: from the poem, "Lighthead's Guide to the Galaxy"
Ladies and Gentlemen, ghosts and children of the state, I am here because I could never get a hang of Time.
Friday 56: from the poem, "Satchmo Returns to New Orleans"
You are the greasy Daddy of Jazz. Peasy Daddy.
You are the brassy Mother of Jazz, the bellowing bastard of jazz,
Sweet-trumpting strupet of jazz. Easy Daddy;
A hankie full of toots and zooting, Mister Sadmo. 
Summary and review: Lighthead won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2010. I am reading it as part of a personal reading challenge to read at least two per year of the National Book Award winners for the last ten years. There are four, now five categories of awards: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young people's literature, and now a work in translation. I wanted to read a volume of award winning poetry and this thin volume seemed to fit the bill.

The first poem, "Lighthead's Guide to the Galaxy", was an homage to a favorite book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, though I didn't figure it out myself from the verses. I did like a few other lines from this poem. This one speaks to my need to read poetry--- "Maybe Art's only purpose is to preserve the Self."  And this quote seems like good advice---"Brothers and sisters, when you spend your nights out on a limb, there's a chance you'll fall in your sleep."

The second poem I highlighted from 56% on my Kindle, "Satchmo Returns to New Orleans" was very fun. Satchmo is a nickname for Louis Armstrong and the poem is full of titles of many of his famous songs. The mention of all the songs chased me to YouTube to listen to some of them, played by the master himself.
Here is one of my favorites:


Though I liked a few poems in the collection, most of them confused me, some even left me feeling flat. I didn't figure out why until I read the Author's Notes at the end. Apparently Mr. Hayes was playing around with poetic and other written forms and styles. One is called pecha kucha, a Japanese business presentation format where the presenter narrates or riffs on twenty images connected to a single theme for twenty seconds of time.  No wonder I didn't get it.

I leave you with this snippet. Though it references an elephant I related to the sentiment:
"...everything is punctured by the tusks of Nostalgia." 
from "The Elegant Tongue"

National Book Award Personal Challenge selection.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

My National Book Award Project

Today as I was investigating The National Book Award webpage and realized how many of these award books I've read and how many I want to read. This caused me to decide to attempt to read at least two of the winning books per year.

Up until last year four awards were given: Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry; Young People's Literature. In 2018 one more award was started: Translated Literature.

To not completely overwhelm myself I decided to attempt this project for the past ten years only and I will try to read two of the four/five books. On the photos below I've made notes of the books I've already read and have already planned on reading.







































































































































































Goal: Read two per award year. Looking over the list, it looks like I have nine books left to go. Not a bad start! Since I am making up the rules, I may opt to read a finalist if the winning books don't interest me. I am excited to get started. First up, I want to check out a few of the poetry collections.



Monday, February 18, 2019

TTT: Books I loved that have less than 2000 Goodreads reviews

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Love That Have Less Than 2000 Goodreads Reviews


Couch by Benjamin Parzybok---Has 793 ratings/ 158 reviews. I think this book is hilarious, really super funny. But some of the gals in my book club hated it. I admit I like quirky books and this book is very QUIRKY.

She Walks In Beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poems by Caroline Kennedy---1943 ratings/ 299 reviews. This is a very nice collection of themed poems edited by Caroline Kennedy, who like her famous mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, loves poetry.

Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning by Leslie Odom, Jr.---1480 ratings/ 286 reviews. The Broadway actor/singer, famous for his role in Hamilton: the Musical, talks about how to go for your goals and other inspiring advice.

The Grand Escape: The Greatest Prison Breakout of the 20th Century by Neal Bascomb--- 504 ratings/ 115 reviews. This nonfiction book covers a fascinating account of a prisoner of war breakout during WWI. It was written like one of the best spy novels.

The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler by John Hendrix--- 704 ratings/ 226 reviews. A graphic biographic about a German pastor who worked to kill Hitler. I learned a lot. This was the SH Nonfiction Cybils Award winner

Boots On the Ground: America's War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge---335 ratings/ 111 reviews. This was the JH Nonfiction Cybils Award winner this year, a fantastic look at the whole war from a variety of angles.

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson---1791 ratings/ 279 reviews. This is a fun, quirky, part Sci-Fi, YA novel that got a lot of critical acclaim last year, but apparently not many teens read it.

Picture Us In the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert--- 1403 ratings/ 417 reviews. Another YA title that got great professional reviews last year and actually earned an honor for the Stonewall book award.

Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World by Rob Sheffield---1254 ratings/ 229 reviews. This is the best Beatles book ever written. How can it have so few reviews?

We Say #NeverAgain: Reporting by the Parkland Students Journalists edited by Melissa Falkowski---152 ratings/ 36 reviews. These are the students who survived a gun shooting at their school and helped start the #Never Again movement for sane gun laws. I am very sad it has been reviewed so few times.

I should say that I am one of those people who rarely reviews books on Goodreads. I will fill out a rating but usually review books on my blog.


Sunday, February 17, 2019

Awards. Join in the conversation.

Last week I caught the tail-end of the Grammy Award ceremony. I knew few of the musicians who won the awards and hadn't heard many of the songs before the evening event. I said something to my husband about how I am no longer in the age bracket to appreciate the Grammy awards and he said something snarky to me in reply. It was all good but it got me thinking. Did the Beatles, my favorite music group of all times, ever win any Grammy awards or were the Grammys even a thing in the sixties?

I looked it up and was shocked to learn that The Beatles only won five of them before they broke up. Five! And in reality one of those, the Grammy for best song of the year in 1967 went to McCartney and Lennon for "Michelle", not the whole group. In 1964 The Beatles won the New Artist Grammy and the Best Vocal Performance By a Group for "A Hard Day's Night." and in 1968 they won two Grammys for Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. But here is the real shocker, in 1967 Revolver, thought by many. many people to be The Beatles best album was nominated for Best Album but lost to Frank Sinatra.

This last fact got me thinking about AWARDS in general. Revolver vs A Man and His Music, which one is played and admired more today? Revolver, hands down. So often awards, not just Grammys but also Oscars, Pulitzers, National Book Awards, Tonys, etc., seem to go to the wrong person/book/movie. Don't you think?

I have followed and promoted the Youth Media Awards from the American Library Association for years. I read as many YA titles as I could and tried to figure out what books would/should win the Printz, Morris, YALSA Nonfiction Awards. More times than not, I was surprised and often disappointed in the winner. But even if I wasn't disappointed, I usually had a hard time talking the students into reading the winners. The books were just too long, or serious, or nuanced, or adult-picked. Of course, there were some exceptions. Think Looking for Alaska, The Book Thief, and Speak as winners that also appealed to readers and have remained popular choices for years.

The Academy Awards will be handed out next week and I am going to make a prediction..."And the Oscar goes to..." the movie that few people will watch after this year. Shouldn't an aspect of the best movie/book/play be popularity? In 2010 "Hurt Locker" won for Best Picture. It won over "Avatar", which had broken all kinds of box office records. Everyone wanted to see "Avatar" and no one wanted to see "Hurt Locker." Shouldn't viewership/readership, at least to a small degree, factor into the decision of what wins?

As a judge for the Cybils Award (Children and Young Adults Bloggers' Literary Award) I know what it is like to be part of a team who helps determine a winning book. We discuss each nominated book and one of the things we consider is how much the book would appeal to our target audiences.  If we, the adult judges, like a book we also have to think of the teen/children readers. Writing, story/plot/accuracy/relevance/and appeal all factor into our decisions. I know the same thing is done for The Grammys and the Oscars but sometimes it seems that message wins over appeal.

On the flipside, Washington State hosts a book award, The Evergreen Award, which is based entirely on popularity. I'm sure other states have something similar. Students vote for their favorite books from a list generated by teen librarians. The winners are exactly the books you expect. Past winners were Twilight (2008), Hunger Games (2011), The Fault in Our Stars (2015). The inclusion of Twilight on this list of winners lets you know immediately that popularity was the only factor used in the selection. That isn't a good selection technique, either.

At a library conference a few years ago I overheard one librarian in conversation with another say that winning a book award was like a kiss of death in terms of circulation. Wow. That was harsh, but I wonder about the truth behind the comment. If you are a librarian, have you ever noticed that award books don't circulate as much as you expected? I suspect that may be truer with children's and YA books. It always seems to me that the adult award winning books I want to read have plenty of holds on them. In fact, I personally scour award book lists to advise my next book selections.

How about you? How do you feel about awards in general? Do you read award books? Watch award movies? Do you usually agree with the selection committee's decisions. Do you think that popularity should at least factor into the selection a bit? Please join in the conversation.




Friday, February 15, 2019

Friday Quotes: Life on Mars

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from the book.
Th
e Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56.

Review, of sorts, to follow.

This is the book I'm highlighting right now---



Title: Life on Mars: Poems by Tracy K. Smith

Book Beginnings: (from page 3)
Friday 56: (from page 19)
Comments and a bit of a review:
Tracy K. Smith won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2012 for this small volume of poems, focusing to a degree on space and life beyond our understanding. "The Weather in Space" poem asks an important and unanswerable question, Is God a being or pure force? Many of the poems take off from a similar theme and seem to try and answer or at least imagine an answer to that question. Which brings us to the first stanza of the poem "Don't You Wonder, Sometimes?" where David Bowie serves as a "cosmic ace hovering, swaying, aching to make us see." The rest of the poem delights as Bowie moves in and out of sight.
The second section of poems focus on Smith's thoughts, feelings about the death of her father, who was an engineer working on the Hubble Space Telescope. I read them in a sort of dispassionate way, thinking that they did not express my feelings after the recent death of my father, but as I closed the book and turned off the lights I realized that a tear was trickling down my cheek. Good poetry does that, it often sneaks up on you.
The third section was full of poems that may have been pulled from headlines. I am not sure. There were no directions given to the readers what to make of the disjointed poems/thoughts. After I read one poem, in which most, but not all the words were italicized, I sat back and asked myself, Did I just read a poem about gang rape? Is that what the poem was about? Gang rape? I reread it. I'm still not sure. Then I spent the next few minutes worried that the poet herself had been gang raped before I decided that the poem's italics meant it wasn't her. Sometimes poetry is like that, it leaves the reader feeling cold and confused.
I haven't finished the book yet, I still have one section to go. After my thrill at the thought of Bowie as a cosmic ace and then my horror at the description of a gang rape, I am not sure what to expect from the rest of the book. I bet I will be surprised.
Tracy K. Smith is the current Poet Laureate of the USA.


Thursday, February 14, 2019

Cybils Awards Announced Today!

The Cybils Awards were announced today and, oh boy, did a lot of wonderful books get picked!

For the complete list, click here.

The awards I was most interested in were the JH and SH Nonfiction categories since I was a judge for the first round, and two of my favorites won. In fact, I was the one who nominated the JH Nonfiction title:

Junior High Non-Fiction

Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam
by Elizabeth Partridge
Viking Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Anne@HeadFullofBooks

Senior High Non-Fiction

I was also very invested in the poetry, graphic novels, and the YA fiction. I haven't read either of the fiction fictions but they are going on my reading list, for sure. The Graphic biography was my favorite YA book of 2018, so I am delighted that it was selected. The poetry winner, Long Way Down, was published at the end of 2017, making it qualified for this year's Cybils award but one not talked about much this year. It is a powerful story, told in verse, about gun violence.

Young Adult Fiction

Sadie
by Courtney Summers
Wednesday Books
Nominated by: Samantha

Young Adult Speculative Fiction

Tess of the Road
by Rachel Hartman
Random House Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Caitlin

Young Adult Graphic Novels

Hey, Kiddo
by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
GRAPHIX
Nominated by: Julie Williams

Poetry

Long Way Down
by Jason Reynolds
Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Nominated by: Deb Nance at Readerbuzz

Check out the whole list and let me know what you think. Thank you to all the many, many judges for reading and evaluating books at all levels of children's lit.




Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Two great book club selections


Last year (2018) I pledged to review all the books I read for my two book clubs. Today I complete this pledge by highlighting two of last year's best. But words fail me. Both of these books received some of the highest praise from all quarters making me feel inadequate to the task of saying anything more than "These books are great. You should read them!" So I've decided to do is to tell you just a little bit about each book and then point you to a few reviews worth your time.

Educated: a Memoir by Tara Westover

Summary: Tara was born in September 1986 to survivalist, Morman parents in Idaho. No birth certificate was issued at her birth and her aunt, mother, and grandmother couldn't recall the exact date of her birth. She was the seventh child born to her parents. Her mother was a midwife and a herbalist, with no official training in either. He father fancied himself as a prophet who owned a scrapyard on the side. Tara and her siblings labored in the scrapyard instead of going to school and almost all of them ended up with injuries due to lack of safety procedures. It was amazing that no one died. Supposedly Tara and her younger brothers never set foot in a school, instead opting for home schooling which consisted of reading religiously biased histories, the Book of Mormon, and little else. When Tara decided she wanted to go to college, she had to have a friend help her with math and algebra skills since she had learned none at home. When she did pass the SAT with high enough scores, her first day of school was when she stepped onto a college campus. While in school she felt like an outsider, since she had never experienced many of the things typical teenagers encounter everyday. But going home wasn't really an option either because it meant going back to work in the scrapyard and to the physical and emotional abuse from a brother who bullied everyone, but especially Tara.

Why this book made an excellent book club selection: The best book club books are those that give the members a lot to discuss and EDUCATED was stuffed full of items to chew on: survivalist's mentality; public education vs homeschooling: self-reliance; abuse; religious extremism; family; and loyalty. Everyone in the club was glad we selected this book. I listened to the audiobook read by Julia Whelan. My husband also listened to the book and it gave us a lot to discuss, also.

Reviews of EDUCATED I recommend you check out:
  • New Yorker (very short). The reviewer, Alexandra Schwartz begins by inviting you to read the book: "I am far from the first critic to recommend Tara Westover’s astounding memoir, Educated, but if its comet tail of glowing reviews has not yet convinced you, let me see what I can do."
  • Psychology Today. Goali Saedi Bocci, reviewer, is a Psychologist who looks at the book through that lens. She finds some controversy in the book not found in most of the other reviews, which makes this a valuable resource for a book club discussion. She concludes her review with, "It is a story that encourages profound reflection in each of us as to how we become who we are once we step outside the shadows of family."  
  • Gates Notes. The reviewer and blogger is Bill Gates. He sat down with Tara in an interview and discussed the book. A lot of insights come out of this review including this quote from Tara:
    • “I worry that education is becoming a stick that some people use to beat other people into submission or becoming something that people feel arrogant about,” she said. “I think education is really just a process of self-discovery—of developing a sense of self and what you think. I think of [it] as this great mechanism of connecting and equalizing.”

One more thing, if you aren't already convinced, to encourage you to read the book: I've told more people to read this book than any other book I read in 2018 and to a person they are thankful they did read it. One more thing: Tara has a unique and interesting "voice." It is as if by getting educated so late in life she had to develop her own way and her own voice shines through.


An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Summary: Roy and Celestrial are a happily married, black couple living in Atlanta. They are upwardly mobile and doing all the right things until, by an evil twist of fate, Roy is arrested for a crime he didn't commit and sent to prison for twelve years. The strain of the separation and imprisonment causes the marriage to fall apart, we see through the letters the couple send back and forth to each other over the years. Though the story is about the end of a marriage, it has to be taken in a broader context. The US justice system isn't very just for a large portion of society where the color of a person's skin and the amount of money they have in their bank account have more to do with imprisonment and time spent behind bars. Roy is not given a fair trial and when he finally gets out he finds himself in a new world, one that does not like an ex-con.

Why this book made an excellent book club selection: Again, the book had a plethora of topics and themes worth exploring: racism in the justice system; marriage; culture; blindness to wrongs; what we can do to help. Few people in the group viewed this as a favorite book but all felt it was an important book.

Reviews of AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE you shouldn't miss:
  • New York Times. Stephanie Powell Watts concludes her review with this ominous warning, "It also warns us to awaken our compassion and empathy. This can be you, the story whispers. Forget that at your peril."
  • NPR. Karen Grigsby Bates highlights many of the same points that were made in the NYT review but here she tells more about Tayari Jones motivation in the writing the story and where she got her inspiration. And again, the reader is given a warning: "Even if you've never gotten so much as a traffic ticket. One mistaken identification, one careless follow-up, and like Roy, you can become part of the country's prison-industrial complex."
  • BookBub. An American Marriage book club page includes questions, food suggestions, and music selections. So fun! Wish I'd seen this page before our meeting.
One more thing, if you aren't already convinced: AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE ended up on the most "Best Books of 2018" lists of any book published last year. If all the critics agree, it's time to take a look.

Jump into the conversation on the comments section. Have you read either of these books? What did you think? Would you consider them for your club selection? Your thoughts?

Both-RHS Book Club 2018; Educated-SOTH March 2019.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

TTT: Favorite couples in literature

Top Ten Twenty Tuesday: Favorite couples in literature. (Warning, this post will appear to be a bit of an homage to Jane Austen's pairs. Deal with it. Ha!)

1. Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy in Pride and Prejudice 

2. Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars in Sense and Sensibility

3. Anne Elliot and Captain Frederick Wentworth in Persuasion

4. Emma Woodhouse and George Knightley in Emma

5. Catherine Morland and Henry Tilney in Northanger Abbey

6. Enis Del Mar and Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain

7. Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser in Outlander series

8. Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters in The Fault in Our Stars

9. Cath and Levi in Fangirl

10. Eleanor Douglas and Park Sheridan in Eleanor and Park

11. Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley in Harry Potter series.

12. Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark in Hunger Games

13. Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet in Romeo and Juliet 

14. Fannie Price and Edmund Bertram in Mansfield Park

15. Aristotle and Dante in Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

16. Henry DeTamble and Clare Abshire in The Time Traveler's Wife

17. Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe in Anne of Green Gables

18. Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre

19. Kya Clark and Tate Walker in Where the Crawdads Sing

20. Blue Sargent and Richard Gansey in The Raven Boys series.

Did I miss any of your favorite literary couples?